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‘Ghost Distillery’ Rosebank Nears Revival As Brand Launches 31 Year Whisky

Renowned Lowland single malt distiller Rosebank recently launched a rare bottling, drawn from casks that were salvaged before the distillery was mothballed in the early 1990s.

The “31 Year Old” is made up of rare liquid from the Falkirk site that closed in 1993. A statement from Rosebank notes that despite spending more than 30 years in casks, the single malt retains a bright and zesty nose, with hints of lime and lemongrass.

The distiller’s notes go on to show that the whisky’s palate features mint and chamomile with robust flavors of leather and banana bread. It finishes with herbal notes, sweet peaches, and a hint of oak.

Rosebank 31 Year

Renowned Lowland single malt distiller Rosebank recently launched a rare bottling, drawn from casks that were salvaged before the distillery was mothballed in the early 1990s. (image via Rosebank)

Malcolm Rennie, Rosebank’s distillery manager, said this is the first Rosebank release during his tenure, and he’s aware of the importance of this launch.

“The spirit was distilled before the distillery closed its doors and has matured in casks ever since, waiting to be awoken,” he said. “The revival of this sleeping giant is a huge moment for the whisky community, but most importantly for the people of Falkirk who have patiently awaited its return for three decades.”

This is Rosebank’s second global launch since being purchased by Ian Macleod Distillers. Bottles of this whisky, which clock in at 48.1% ABV, retail for £1,800 (per 70cl). They can be purchased directly from Rosebank’s website and with specialist retailers.

To celebrate the brand’s rebirth, Rosebank hosted an early tasting of the bottling with four whisky experts taking the first sips: Becky Paskin, Brad Japhe, Moa Nilsson, and Thijs Klaverstijn.

Paskin said of the 31 Year Old, “The first taste was mind blowing. It was a rush of exotic fruits, with a subtle hint of cask wood and spice. A juxtaposition of styles that makes Rosebank truly unique.”

Japhe noted that “there’s an evolution that happens as it sits in front of you – toasted biscuits, brioche, cotton candy, and grapefruit zest all developed while the dram was in the glass.”

The Rosebank Distillery, still under construction, is due for completion by the end of 2022, and its official opening will take place in early 2023.

Distillery Manager Malcolm Rennie has overseen the installation of three stills made to the blueprints of the originals from pre-1993. Worm tub condensers have also been installed, each with a hand-made copper coil stretching up to 70 meters in length.

Externally, the distillery retains its distinctive 108-foot-tall chimney, which is now complemented by a contemporary sloping, stepped roof.

For more information, check out www.rosebank.com.

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