Rosebank distillery announces sale of two limited edition single cask whiskies

Rosebank Distillery is set to excite whisky enthusiasts worldwide with the release of two limited edition, single cask whiskies.

Published 10th Feb 2020
Updated 21 st Sep 2023

These rare Rosebank casks were specially chosen as they were distilled in 1993, the year of the distillery’s closure and the last time the  spirit ran through the original stills.

Of the 280 and 259 bottles from each cask, only 100 bottles of whisky from each will initially be released and available to purchase via ballot, making these releases - the first official bottlings from the distillery since it was acquired by Ian Macleod Distillers – rarer still.

Whisky connoisseurs and fans have been hoping for a Rosebank revival since the distillery closed its doors over 25 years ago, and it is anticipated that demand for these two whiskies will be extremely high.

Each of the batches have been matured in a refill Bourbon Hogshead cask, but both have completely distinct and unique characters.

The team describe cask number 433: " with a natural cask strength of 53.3 per cent and output of 280 bottles, is delicate and refined on the nose - with hints of vanilla, mango, raspberry, barley sugar and lavender.

"Silky and light on the tongue, it gives way to complex flavours of cranachan and lemon, with gentle floral notes, marzipan and faint spice completing the profile. It has a soft, satisfying citrus finish with hints of ripe fruit and oak."

Cask Number 625 is described: "with a natural cask strength of 50.4 per cent and output of 259 bottles, has a warm banana loaf aroma with hints of white chocolate, spearmint, Victoria sponge and dried pineapple.

"It has notes of shortbread, chamomile tea, dried herb and citrus for a rich-bodied, balanced taste and a wonderfully delicate, tropical fruit, lime and gentle spice finish."

As there are so few bottles available (only 100), the team at Rosebank wanted to make the opportunity to purchase as fair as possible, therefore the sale will take place via an online ballot.

The ballot will launch on Friday 14th February for Rosebank subscribers and general release Tuesday 18th February, and will remain open for two weeks, allowing fans to register for their opportunity to buy. Both whiskies are priced at £2500 each.

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Robbie Hughes, group distillation manager for Ian Macleod Distillers, said: “We are incredibly excited and proud to be releasing our first official bottlings of Rosebank since the distillery’s closure in 1993 – a pivotal milestone for us in bringing back to life this quintessential Lowland malt.

“These expressions, though distinct in character, are both shining examples of Rosebank’s peerlessly smooth, fruity character. We know both are highly anticipated by whisky enthusiasts and collectors alike, so we expect great demand from our ballots.

“With the distillery’s redevelopment well underway, it’s a terrifically exciting chapter for Ian Macleod Distillers and Rosebank. We look forward to keeping fans updated with the distillery’s progress and releasing more unique and rare whiskies for fans across the world to savour in the coming years.”

Those who are lucky enough to purchase one of those coveted expressions will also be invited to collect their bottle at a private event in London on Wednesday 18th March - where they will be given the rare chance to meet Robbie Hughes, learn more about the malt and sample the single casks.

What's next for Rosebank?

Along with these bottlings, 2020 sees even more developments for Rosebank, with the first official trade release of the whisky matured prior to the 1993 closure taking place in March.

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At the ninth edition of DFS’ Masters of Wine & Spirits exhibition in Singapore, Rosebank will release another extremely limited bottling. More details of this highly collectable Travel Retail exclusive bottling will be revealed later this month.

Rosebank history

Situated on the banks of the Forth and Clyde canal between Edinburgh and Glasgow, Rosebank lay dormant for 25 years. It ceased production in 1993 when former owner UDV (now Diageo), mothballed the site and its maltings were converted into a restaurant.

The distillery was distinctive in its unique production technique of marrying worm tub condensers and triple distillation. The resulting light but full flavour contrast made it a category defining Lowland Single Malt Scotch Whisky, widely revered as ‘The King of the Lowlands’.

Ian Macleod Distillers acquired the Rosebank brand and last remaining stocks in October 2017, and in January 2019 they were granted planning permission to revive the distillery on its original site. In November, construction officially began on the highly anticipated redevelopment.

Expansive plans for the 1,000-square metre, energy-efficient distillery includes a state-of-the-art visitor centre, tasting room, shop and warehouse among the canal-side buildings.

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Once open, Rosebank Distillery is expected to generate 25 full time jobs and attract around 50,000 visitors a year to Falkirk. It will offer a wide range of distillery tours, with some featuring the very last drams of Rosebank distilled prior to the 1993 closure.

The ballot will launch on Friday 14th February 2020 for Rosebank subscribers and general release on Tuesday 18th February 2020 via the distillery website.

Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne, whisky and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind is the Food and Drink Editor and whisky writer for The Scotsman, as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.
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