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Rosebank, the sleeping beauty of the lowlands. Although I must admit, at the rate that her buildings are crumbling away, no prince on a white horse will kiss her back to life. Luckily she left us a rich inheritance of more than stellar bottles… That was at least until a few years ago. Cause let’s be honest, when was the last time, you guys encountered a good bottle of Rosebank that wouldn’t bankrupt you? The occasional left-over bottle on a shelf in a specialists shop or lone entry on an auction website, is like a bastard in a basket on the town square: unwanted, unloved and they only get taking in out of charity. Time to face facts: for Rosebank time is up and we won’t see her likes again.
So here is my Irish wake to Rosebank, with a sample by Silver Seal I say my goodbyes.
Description: distilled in 1989, bottled 12 years later in 2001 by Italian independent bottler Silver Seal at 50% ABV, no info on the cask.
Nose: anybody home? Nose virtually non-existing at first, but after a good swirl, it turns out to be a flowery bouquet of lily-of–the valley, dandelions and violets. They are accompanied by soft fruits: gooseberries and citrus. Am I detecting some almond dragués?
Mouth: powerful but dry palate: white pepper, citrus and bitter oak. Nothing more, nothing less.
Finish: a warm pepper-driven afterburner.
Verdict: a simple dram, but highly enjoyable. A few notes: firstly the nose does not seem to fit the mouth. Secondly there is a lot of oak on the palate for a 12yo. A first fill cask or even a virgin cask? Who knows, but it was a bourbon cask, that’s for sure. And lastly, drink this one neat: a drop of water mercilessly kills the palate (quite amazing given the high ABV). As I said a decent whisky, but in no way a direct hit like other Rosebanks that I’ve tried. And by bringing the purchase price into the equation, this whisky doesn’t stand a chance