Well I figured I better get this last post of my Rosebank tasting in before I ventured into other whiskies. Please excuse the long delay in posting this from Part IV. I was really looking forward to tasting this expression as I have enjoyed almost every Signatory Cask Strength Collection that I have had – including Highland Park, Dallas Dhu, Brora and Monnochmore.
Distilled June 22, 1990
Bottled February 20, 2006
Color – Light Straw
Nose – Very subdued for 56.6%, doughy, baked goods sweetness, malty, pears, “springy”
Palate – Big malt, sweet, alcohol up front, some oak is in there but not much else, didn’t take on as much flavor as I expected, a dead cask?
Finish – Alcohol, oak, total lack in depth of flavor.
Man, was this a disappointment. There really wasn’t much to this at all. I had really high hopes for this Rosebank but it utterly failed. I have heard that can happen sometimes with Rosebanks. Time to go dig out another Signatory Cask Strength Collection bottle to make up for this……….
Gordon and Macphail Cask Strength
Yes, another 1991 Rosebank. However this time it is only 13 years old. Up until now we were leisurely sipping on 43%ABV whisky – this bottle initiated the cask strength invasion on our palates.
Distilled on April 25, 1991
Bottled on December 7, 2004
Refill Sherry Hogshead (Cask #1536)
Color – 14K gold, orange/yellow
Nose – Toffee, green/vegetables?, stiff jab of alcohol burn – definitely tell it is cask strength, a soft hint of smoke, very lively.
Palate – Viscous and chewy, natural malty sweetness, big and bold!, heather, licorice or fennel seed, the smoke is in the background too.
Finish – Alcohol heat lingers, heather.
This one is a challenge, big bold flavors – not your subtle docile Rosebank. This one fights back. I am really happy that the sherry influence stayed in the back and didn’t overpower. I really enjoyed this one a lot – probably my favorite of the lot.
Gordon and Macphail Rosebank
This is the replacement for the former 16 year old Rosebank – I had it but failed to take any notes on it. We felt that this would be a good follow up after the Signatory Vintage bottling because the other three were bottled at cask strength. The one odd thing about the labeling is that the front label states it is bottled at 46% but the label on the back states 43%. I thought it felt like 46% but snooping around the internet it appears that 43% is the true value.
Color – Light yellow
Nose – Sugar cookie sweetness, bread dough, heather
Palate – Oak-dryness, the flowers make themselves present, subtle sweetness, big up front but fades away rather quickly
Finish – floral, malty and doughy.
This is another relaxing dram. Something to sit back and enjoy. It is not going to over power you or make you work hard for it.
This will be the first of a series of 5 posts on the silent distillery Rosebank. Rosebank was a lowland distillery that was mothballed in 1993 and is usually known for subtle floral notes. They tend to be lighter and more delicate. It is on the other end of the spectrum from Islay malts. My buddy Derek is a Rosebank fiend – he buys bottles as fast as he can find them. I originally rolled over to his house this week to grab dinner but it turned into an in-prompt-to Rosebank tasting. We lined them up in the order we thought would flow best. The first one in line was a 15 year old Signatory Vintage Collection.
Signatory Vintage Collection Rosebank
Distilled November 27, 1991
Bottled November 27, 2006
Cask Number 4767 (Bourbon)
Color – White wine
Nose – Lots of malt, light powdered sugar, the distinct floral notes, a touch of the bourbon cask comes through too.
Palate – Soft subtle heather, a natural sweetness, oak/bourbon forward but with the floral notes in the background, some bitterness too.
Finish – Oak, a slight wisp of smoke.
This expression exemplifies a good Rosebank. Subtle but at the same time full of flavor. I really liked this one.
Independent bottling of this lowland malt. Distilled in 1984, bottled in 2004 at 55.1%
Scott's Selection Bladnoch
C: light yellow/gold.
N: straw/hay, ginger ale, sweet lemon, sea sweat toffee.
P: Deliciously complex, cherry, citrus rind, toasted malt, soapy candy sugar, lemon, straw, the nose fairly represents the palate.
F: loooooong, tongue coating, complex.
Interesting lowland, it is subtle (typical lowland flavors) yet aggressive at the same time. The finish just keeps going. Great whisky!