Ahead of the distillery re-opening this summer, Rosebank has appointed a new distillery manager. Malcolm Rennie, who last worked for Lochlea Distillery, will be tasked with reviving this closed Lowland distillery’s renowned spirit.
Rennie has 35 years of distilling expertise spanning a multitude of different Scotch whisky distilleries. “Rosebank is an iconic distillery, so it is an absolute honour to be given the opportunity to help bring it back to life,” says Rennie of his new position in a prepared statement.
“The whisky is incredibly well-regarded in the industry because of its unique, and somewhat contradictory production process. The triple distillation gives you a light and fruity spirit, but then we run it through a worm-tub condenser which adds real body, texture and weight to the new-make.
“Beyond just the whisky, Rosebank represents the life and memories of the local Falkirk community. It’s a town with an intrinsic connection to the distillery – many of whom are reminded of the smells and sounds of whisky at the mere sight of the iconic chimney.”
Apart from his time at Lochlea Distillery, where he was involved from the very first distillation to the bottling of their First Release, Malcolm Rennie also helped to revive Annandale, a distillery that had been closed 90 years – much longer than Rosebank. He’s also worked at Ardbeg and Glen Moray.
As the new distillery manager of Rosebank, Malcolm Rennie will work closely together with Ian Macleod Distillers’ Group Distillation Manager, Robbie Hughes, and Malt Master, John Glass.
When it was announced in 2017 that Rosebank would be revived by Ian Macleod, the original re-opening was scheduled for 2020. However, the pandemic resulted in delays, but building works have picked up in recent months. Production is due to begin towards the end of the summer.
The mash tun has been installed, as well as the process tanks, and mill and grist case. In the coming weeks the three stills will be delivered to the distillery, which will be a true landmark in the revival of Rosebank. Crafted by Forsyths, they’ve been made to the exact dimensions ofd the original stills that were stolen from the mothballed distillery in 2009.
“Our ambition is to recreate that unctuous, floral spirit that everyone remembers and loves,” says Malcolm Rennie. “With limited stocks remaining from the 90s, there’s no doubt it will be a challenge, but we won’t stop until we get that perfect Rosebank balance correct.”
My Rosebank Reviews
I’ve reviewed a number of whiskies from Rosebank since the inception of Words of Whisky in 2013. Check them out if you like: