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Sunday, 3 August 2008

(Rose) Bank On This


Have you ever made a bad decision?

Bought the wrong size shirt in a shop.
Chosen the chicken when you should have had the fish.
Decided to take Russia in winter.
Bought a house in Swindon when you should have bought a house, er, anywhere other than in Swindon.

We all do it.

We all make stupid decisions.

Sometimes these decisions have bigger ramifications that we expect.
Sometimes these bad choices are personal to us only.

But we try and learn.

We try the shirt on in the shop before buying it.
We choose the fish instead of the chicken.
We wait until the harsh winter in Russia is over before pushing the Northern front forward.
We never, ever even go near Swindon.

That’s how life works. We make mistakes.
We’re only human.
But life is also about learning.

Just ten years after closing the Port Ellen distillery on Islay, Diageo took the decision to mothball Rosebank; a Lowland distillery situated between Glasgow and Edinburgh. Often considered as the finest example of Lowland whisky, Rosebank is famed for a delicate and floral flavour. Now ear-marked for house development, a Beefeater “restaurant” takes up some of the old warehousing space.

I’d hazard a guess that the staff at Diageo c.1980 – 1995 all wear ill-fitting shirts. I bet they all chose the chicken when they got to the Beefeater in Camelon, Falkirk. I bet their marketing department tried to take Russia in the winter, years before it became a lucrative new emerging market. And I bet they all now live in... shudder... Swindon.

Rosebank – Single Malts Of Scotland – 16 Year Old – Distilled 01.07.1991 / bottled 22.04.2008 - cask no. 402 - 249 bottles - 55.2% Vol. – 70cl

Nose- the trademark Rosebank camomile comes hitting through at first, backed by gentle lavender, warm butter and a slight track of golden syrup. This is the whisky equivalent of a 1980’s Laura Ashley dress. All grace, flow and spring flowers. A real innocence here to the nose, pushed not too heavily by the alcohol content.

Palate- a real sweetness at first, with the golden syrup making the first impact followed by pineapple juice, hot toasted crumpets with melting butter on and then red chilli. A real blast at the end to keep you on your toes. Far more warming than the nose would lead you to think. This is a whisky that does not need any watering down. It’s just perfect at 55.2%.

Finish- the heat dissipates leaving a real dryness and coal dust finish, but not in an unpleasant way. Medium in length, it really leaves you wanting more.

Overall- a cracker. A lot of people say that Rosebank does not last well into the teens but this one has managed to retain the floral joys of life without becoming over woody. At £49, a great buy.