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Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!



Angus's Corner
From our casual Scottish correspondent
and guest taster Angus MacRaild
Two Naked Rosebank

Like all closed distilleries these days Rosebank is becoming scarcer and more expensive, and indeed the whisky has many admirers. Little wonder there are always rumours about the distillery re-opening or the name having been 'acquired'. However, I have never been the biggest fan of Rosebank, I was always more of a St Magdalene guy. But let's try a couple of youthful and hopefully pretty distillate forward examples today and see if I'll be converted.


Rosebank 11 yo 1990/2001 (46%, Murray McDavid for Dominick McGeehan)

Rosebank 11 yo 1990/2001 (46%, Murray McDavid for Dominick McGeehan) A rather obscure old Murray McDavid bottling for a private customer. Colour: Straw, almost with a green tinge. Nose: Hey...hay? Seriously, a barnyard with a visiting contingent of lemons and other assorted fresh citrus fruits. The rest all on cut grass, parsley, mineral notes such as pebbles, perhaps a touch of charcoal and some coal hearths. Goes on with a few wildflowers and some more very pleasing herbal notes. Mouth: a little simple perhaps, there's some more nice citrus, green fruits and grassy notes, but also some porridge and a slightly cardboardy note. Perhaps some nice spiciness after a while and some olive oil notes which give the impression of quite a luxurious texture. Although, overall the palate does feel curiously a little weak for 46%. Finish: Medium with some warming notes of clove rock, black pepper and green tea. Comments: I like it but the nose is the best part. Nosebank? SGP: 461 - 84 points.



Rosebank 1985/1994 (61.3%, Scotch Malt Whisky Society, #25.8)

Rosebank 1985/1994 (61.3%, Scotch Malt Whisky Society, #25.8) A Rosebank from my vintage, not a great year for whisky in general I'm sad to report. Colour: white wine. Nose: This one is immediately much sweeter with notes of butterscotch and barley sugar leaping out the glass. More gentle notes of hay and barnyards with some gentle natural vanilla and a nice note of cloves along with a slightly coastal side. With water: a lovely hessian note arises with soft notes of white pepper, wax, fresh peaches and mirabelle. Water really lifts the nose up several levels. Mouth: Like the nose this is surprisingly gentle on arrival considering the strength, lemon oil, some light waxiness, a not overly hopped IPA, some freshly baked sourdough. I these slightly fermentary and grassy characteristics underpinned by a lean citrus streak, very refreshing. The sweetness remains quite natural too with more sweet cereal and barley sugar notes. With water: more citrus, green fruit, more assorted freshly ground peppercorns of varying colours and more of this waxy, sheep  wool oiliness (I recommend chewing on some sheep's wool sometime Serge, strictly for professional reasons of course). Again water seems to just complexify and elevate everything. Finish: Long, spicy and full of deft touches of citrus, gooseberry and cereal. Comments: I had this one around the 85 mark but water easily took it up several notches. A lovely, distillate driven and quaffable Rosebank. Also a great one to banish these notions that Lowland malts were all wishy washy, easy peezy drams. SGP: 562 - 89 points.









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