Rosebank 1981 20 Years (Rare Malts Selection)
After this past Wednesday’s Glenkinchie review, I figured to transition into something a little more exclusive from the same region. After all, Rosebank is one of the great closed distilleries (although not for long). Add to that the fact that this is not just any Rosebank, but the Rosebank 1981 20 Years Old from the iconic Rare Malts Selection, and we’ve got ourselves quite the treat today.
Rosebank 1981 20 Years (62.3%, OB)
Nose: A whiff of lemon, floral honey, biscuits and cookie dough, but otherwise very closed, which I’m sure can be remedied by adding some water. Quite heathery now, as well as citrus and mint tea, but also a whisper of smoke. There’s some minerality too. Ozone.
Taste: Intensely malty, a tinge of charred oak and some hessian. Very creamy, big on the vanilla too. Yet it is subtle and rather well-behaved. It could do with some water though, which brings out menthol, charred lemon peel, subtle pineapple and a touch of peat.
Finish: Chalk, menthol and yellow fruit.
Highly fascinating and very intriguing, I can’t imagine I’ll ever tire of this Rosebank. It’s also unlike anything currently on the market. Hopefully the Rosebank resurrection works out. Thanks so much for sharing, Norbert!
Thijs is a spirits writer and accredited liquorist from The Netherlands. He runs the blog Words of Whisky and contributes to a number of Dutch and international publications.