Iconic Rosebank Distillery Set For Restoration

Leonard Russell examines the Flora & Fauna Rosebank

Legendary Scottish lowland distillery Rosebank will be revived and reopened by Ian Macleod Distillers in a remarkable week for Scotch whisky.

In what surely has been the most surprising week of news this year, the Rosebank announcement comes merely 24 afters after Diageo announced the resurgence of fellow silent distilleries Port Ellen and Brora.

The 1840-founded distillery closed in 1993 and Ian Macleod Distillers, owners of the Tamdhu and Glengoyne distilleries along with a number of blended labels, have acquired the site from Scottish Canals.

A press release also confirmed that they have acquired the trademark of the distillery, which previously had belonged to Diageo. Indeed, the dwindling Rosebank stocks have been a highly sought after part of the drinks giant’s annual Special Releases.

The Rosebank Distillery. Image from Discover Rosebank

It is estimated that £12 million (AUD$20 million) will be pumped into the restoration, with Scotch Whisky reporting that 2019 will be the earliest possible launch.

Leonard Russell, Managing Director of Ian Macleod Distillers, said, “The distillery has a very special place in Scotland’s whisky heritage and we are committed to ensuring this is the case.

“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.”

It is estimated that it will produce between 500,000 and one million litres of alcohol per year.

They will also release a number of expressions from stocks acquired from Diageo.

“We would like to express our gratitude to Diageo for their support in transferring the trademark,” said Russell, “and to Scottish Canals for their assistance in our endeavours to revitalise the home of Rosebank.”

Like Port Ellen and Diageo, Rosebank has become a popular distillery in auctions.

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