rosebank 31 years release two

Rosebank 31 Years Release Two (2022)

Here’s the thing. I was pretty closely involved with the launch of the Rosebank 31 Years Release Two. I was flown in by Ian Macleod Distillers to film a launch movie together with some of my esteemed writer colleagues. And I was compensated for my time. Does that make me a good candidate to review this rare single malt?

Elsewhere on this blog I write about my background in journalism, which “means that I value journalistic principles, like objectivity, impartiality and independence, and apply them to my blog.” But how can I expect my readers to believe that I’m impartial when I’ve been almost directly involved with a brand? I suppose I don’t.

And yet, I believe that I can write an honest review about this whisky. The only reason I said yes to Rosebank in the first place is because we weren’t going to be filming some kind of scripted commercial. Similar to ‘The First Sip’ film I participated in two years ago, I was allowed to say whatever. And I suspect the reason is because Ian Macleod Distillers (Rosebank’s owners) know the Rosebank 31 Years Release Two is hot stuff. Nobody who enjoys drinking whisky would slag off this single malt. It’s just too good.

I guess it’s up to you to decide how much you value my opinion regarding the Rosebank 31 Years Release Two. All I can do is be transparent. And I think I’ve a good track record over the past nine or so years that I’ve been running this blog. Regardless, I would understand if you’d skip this review.

rosebank 31 years release two stylized

But enough on my personal connection to the Rosebank brand. The Rosebank 31 Years Release Two is the final release before the distillery reopens, which’ll probably be early next year. After that the long wait begins, because Rosebank won’t be one of those distilleries to release 3-year-old as soon as they can. I’ve heard 2030 at the earliest, but maybe they’ll wait at least 10 years. At the very least they won’t rush into launching an immature whisky.

The Rosebank 31 Years Release Two is anything but immature. It matured in a mixture of refill ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks for well over three decades.

Rosebank 31 Years Release Two (48.1%, OB, 2022)

Nose: Elegance personified, the floral sweetness of this Rosebank stands out. It’s grassy, orange-y and caramel-y at the same time, and the oak is certainly noticeable, despite the use of only refill casks. Plenty of (orchard) fruits too – green apple, a subtle hint of mango and nectarine.
Taste: Spot on. A creamy mouthfeel with sweet and fruity touches. It’s honeyed with hints of grilled pineapple, mangoes and apricots. Even some liquorice there at the end. Slightly herbacious too, maybe even some resin and certainly some gentle baking spices.
Finish: Medium in length. Lingering orange peel and gentle oak spices. Finally some pear and crushed mint.

It's certainly not the same whisky as Release One, but absolutely of the same high quality. The Rosebank 31 Years Release Two (and Rosebank in general) represents an ideal of what traditional Lowland whisky is.

Sample provided by Ian Macleod Distillers

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