Rosebank 18 y.o. (OMC) Review

Rosebank 18 y.o. (OMC)021

50% abv

Score:  86.5/100


Rosebank was yet another casualty of a rather callous and heartless whisky industry.  It drew it’s last dying breath in 1993.

Every now and then rumblings come along hinting at a Lazarus act with this rather legendary Lowland distillery, but they always amount to nothing more than just that.  No true true quakes…just the foreshocks.

There are some rather interesting bits of gossip out there too.  Conflicting tales of 2002 sales, stolen equipment and a 2013 rumour once again speaking to Diageo’s possible sale or reopening of Rosebank.  Call me a skeptic, but I think ATW will continue to roll forward on the assumption that Rosebank is gone.  Finished.  Over.  Sad, but likely much more rooted in reality than the alternatives.

The Lowlands are famously known as a region built on light, herbal, floral and grassy malts, most often triple distilled.  At the moment there are a mere six distilleries producing in the region, two of which are yet to release a proper distillery bottling.  Rosebank has the distinction of being the ‘Port Ellen’ of the region; quality whisky from a distillery now decades in the grave.  The distillery has continued to grow in the esteem of collectors and hoarders (much like Brora or Port Ellen), even though the malt…may or may not quite justify the hype.  Personally, I’ve yet to make up my mind on that one.

This expression in particular is a rather fine example, if not quite spectacular, of the light and fresh distillate you’re likely to encounter in most Rosebank expressions still out there.  It is a Douglas Laing Old Malt Cask release from a few years back.  Not quite cask strength, but I’m more than ok with the OMC 50% standard.

Good release from a fine distillery.  R.I.P. Rosebank.

Nose:  Meadowy, perfumed and floral.  Eucalyptus and sour candy.  Grapefruit pith.  A little peach and some orange fruit.  Unsweetened pastry dough.  Dirt.  Tart cranberry.  Acidic.

Palate:  Delivery is similar to an anCnoc.  Over-steeped tea.  Bitter and drying.  Hay notes and white pepper.  Grass.  MacIntosh apple.  Very light.  Quite pleasant.  Not really a fan of the finish here though.


– Reviewed by:  Curt

– Photo:  Curt

1 thought on “Rosebank 18 y.o. (OMC) Review

  1. EricH

    The Lowlands actually has two Port Ellens (or Brora), St. Magdalene and Rosebank. To me at least, Rosebank is the Port Ellen of the Lowlands but St. Magdalene is probably even more fondly remembered by other whisky fans.


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