Plans to resurrect Rosebank, one of Scotland’s most cherished distilleries, have taken another step forward, thanks to Ian Macleod Distillers.
In its home town of Falkirk, on the banks of the Forth and Clyde Canal, Rosebank has been dubbed ‘the King of the Lowlands’ and the late whisky writer, Michael Jackson had no doubt that it was one of the ‘greats’.
Ian Macleod Distillers – who produce of the Glengoyne, Langs and Tamdhu – last month entered into a binding agreement with Scottish Canals to purchase the site and separately acquired the Rosebank trademark, and have now agreed an £80million finance deal.
In 2002, the distillery buildings and contents were sold to British Waterways by Diageo, and the maltings were demolished to make way for a housing development.
Now, Ian Macleod’s managing director Leonard Russell said: ‘Rosebank is one of the most respected and sought after single malts in the world.
‘As such, this is an extraordinarily exciting project for us. To bring back to life an iconic distillery and quintessential Lowland single malt is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity.’
Leonard says Rosebank’s demise was ‘a grievous loss’, while fellow critic, Gavin D Smith, wrote of the region’s whiskies having: ‘subtle charm, and none is more charming than the elegant, floral, aromatic Rosebank produced by a triple distillation process in the traditional Lowland manner.’
Leonard explained that this will be preserved: ‘The distillery has a very special place in Scotland’s whisky heritage and we are committed to ensuring this is the case.
Delighted Ian Macleod Distillers managing director Leonard Russell
‘We will produce Rosebank Lowland single malt in exactly the same way as it is known, using the famous triple distillation and worm tub condensers. This way we ensure the revival of its classic style and taste.
‘Our investment goes way beyond production. We are looking to develop a Rosebank Visitor Centre to help tell the story of this remarkable whisky – as well as safeguard the atmospheric canal side bond and its important heritage.
‘We are proud to be investing in Falkirk by adding to the town’s flourishing economy and tourism scene.’
But perhaps most exciting for whisky lovers as they wait for the reborn Rosebank to mature, is the acquisition of some precious existing casks.
Leonard added: ‘Over the coming months we will carefully review Rosebank’s rare stocks with a view to releasing some truly scarce and extraordinary whiskies.
‘We have no doubt that demand for these releases will be exceptionally high so we already have plans in place to make sure collectors and Rosebank lovers can keep up to date.
‘We would like to express our gratitude to Diageo for their support in transferring the trademark and to Scottish Canals for their assistance in our endeavours to revitalise the home of Rosebank.’
With this in mind, all the latest developments will be revealed on a new, dedicated website where those who sign up will be the first to hear about the release of the rare and collectable bottlings of Rosebank Lowland Single Malt.
Visit www.rosebankwhisky.co.uk for more information.