Whisky Connosr

Rosebank 30 Year Old 1990 Release One

The king is dead, long live the king!

3 091

@markjedi1Review by @markjedi1

5th Dec 2020


Rosebank 30 Year Old 1990 Release One
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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I think it is fair to say that Rosebank is in the top five of closed distilleries. This King of the Lowlands was shut down in 1993 and for the longest time it looked like it would never re-open. But then Ian MacLeod stepped in – which we know mostly from Glengoyne and Tamdhu – and announced in 2017 that they would bring Rosebank back. The renovations have started and in the run up to the reopening they will release some of the old stocks that were part of the deal in buying the name from Diageo. That it inself is quite exciting considering that they have only a few hundred casks left. This one matured for no less than 30 years and is aptly named Release One. It’s a vatting of refill sherry butts (62%) and refill bourbon hogsheads (38%), all put to sleep in 1990. Let’s sit down for a while with this one…

The nose is very summery and fresh with lots of citrus fruit like lime and pomelo, but also nectarines and even a hint of papaya and grapefruit. But it doesn’t end there. I also get some Granny Smith, peach from a can and a soft note of freshly cut grass. But everything is so soft and elegant. Dorian Gray would have this in his cabinet, I’m sure…

Ah, that first sip… oily, soft spices and even some woodsmoke, but again it’s all about elegance with nectarines, apples, citrus fruit by the bucket and some orange zest.

Only in the finish do I get my first bitter note as if biting down on the pith of a grapefruit, but it only serves to provide perfect balance.

Spirit-driven as we are used to from Rosebank, but this ons is very special indeed. The nose is just out of this world. The King is dead, long live the King! The price is hefty, sure. Between 1800 and 2400 EUR. But Bowmore or Highland Park of the same age are in the same price bracket, so I think it is a ‘fair’ price setting. And don’t forget: this is Rosebank, King of the Lowlands!

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