Rosebank 1989/2001 Silver Seal

Irish Wake

Rosebank, the sleeping beauty of the lowlands. Although I must admit, at the rate that her buildings are crumbling away, no prince on a white horse will kiss her back to life.

Luckily she left us a rich inheritance of more than stellar bottles… That was at least until a few years ago. Cause let’s be honest, when was the last time, you guys encountered a good bottle of Rosebank that wouldn’t bankrupt you? The occasional left-over bottle on a shelf in a specialists shop or lone entry on an auction website, is like a bastard in a basket on the town square: unwanted, unloved and they only get taking in out of charity. Time to face facts: for Rosebank time is up and we won’t see her likes again.

So here is my Irish wake to Rosebank, with a sample by Silver Seal I say my goodbyes

distilled in 1989, bottled 12 years later in 2001 by Italian independent bottler Silver Seal at 50% ABV, no info on the cask.

Nose: anybody home? Nose virtually non-existing at first, but after a good swirl, it turns out to be a flowery bouquet of lily-of–the valley, dandelions and violets. They are accompanied by soft fruits: gooseberries and citrus. Am I detecting some almond dragués?

Mouth: powerful but dry palate: white pepper, citrus and bitter oak. Nothing more, nothing less.

Finish: a warm pepper-driven afterburner.


The Verdict: a simple dram, but highly enjoyable. A few notes: firstly the nose does not seem to fit the mouth. Secondly there is a lot of oak on the palate for a 12yo. A first fill cask or even a virgin cask? Who knows, but it was a bourbon cask, that’s for sure. And lastly, drink this one neat: a drop of water mercilessly kills the palate (quite amazing given the high ABV).
As I said a decent whisky, but in no way a direct hit like other Rosebanks that I’ve tried. And by bringing the purchase price into the equation, this whisky doesn’t stand a chance.
Score: 82

Nose: 19

Taste: 22
Finish: 21 Balance: 20
   < 75: undrinkable, avoid at all costs
75-79: acceptable, give it a try but don't spend to much money on it
80-84: average, enjoyable whiskies mostly easy sippable entry-level single malt 
85-89: above average drams, often well aged expressions, open your wallet
90-94: excellence, sorry kids no x-mas presents this year, daddy needs this bottle
95-99: divinity, call your bank manager for another mortgage on your house