Tag Archives: lowland

Part V of the Rosebank Tasting: Signatory Cask Strength Collection 1990

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
Cask 1509
Bottle 178/285
56.6% ABV

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……….

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Part III of the Rosebank Tasting: Gordon and Macphail’s Cask Strength 1991 Rosebank

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.

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Part II of the Rosebank Tasting: Gordon and Macphail’s Connoisseurs Choice 1991 Rosebank

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.

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Tasting Notes on Singatory Vintage 15 y/o Rosebank

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)
43% ABV

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.

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One Prospective of the 18 Year A.D. Rattray Auchentoshan

A.D. Rattray Auchentoshan 18 Year, Distilled 1990, Bottled 2009 @ 56.5%


This whisky had a lot to live up to in my mind.  First, A.D. Rattray has been consistently one of my favorite independent bottlers.  The whiskies they release have a way of being very unique while at the same time not losing the distillery flavors that we like.  Some independent releases get too far away from the basic distillery flavor profile.  What also sticks out in my mind about A.D Rattray bottlings is the viscosity.  Both the Balblair and Bowmore bottlings were thick and chewey (if you can get that from a liquid?). A.D. Rattray is relatively new to the independent bottling arena even though the business itself was founded in 1868.  You can read more about the company here.

Second, I am a big fan of the lowlands.  It is a weird dichotomy as I love diving head first into the peat bog, even better if it is at cask strength! But I also really enjoy the soft subtle flavors of the lowlands.  Auchentoshan distillery releases haven’t wow’d me in the past however.  In any event, here we go!

Color – Light, pale yellow

Nose – Honey, medicinal, malt, a lot of straw, baked sweets like a sugar cookie

Looking up at what is left of the Dewar Rattray Auchentoshan

Palate – Full mid tongue weight, apples, a distinct sweetness, heather, floral tones, the heat comes through well

Finish – long and lingering on the heather and sweetness.

A great balance of subtle flavors with the punch of cask strength.  I really like this whisky.

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Scott’s Selection 1984 Bladnoch Review 20 y/o #whisky

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!

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