After the 5 Caol Ila, we decide to escape from Islay in search of different aromas: the first landing are the Lowlands, and not a random Lowlands’ distillery! We’re tasting a very recent 20-year-old Rosebank, distilled in 1990 and bottled earlier this year by the historical Italian brand Silver Seal, in the Sestante collection serie. The distillery has been closed since 1993, and rumors of a possible
reopening have long followed, for the eternal delight of many enthusiasts – above all Jim Murray, who links the happy event to some metaphysical reflection on the existence of God… Unfortunately in 2010 a large part of the machinery still present was stolen, and therefore bye bye Rosebank; pity that Diageo, owner of the brand, has not believed in it more. In any case, the color: very pale yellow.
N: without water, strong notes of aniseed, juniper and some herbs of the Artemisia genus immediately stand out (we do not want to sound scoundrels: it reminds a lot, mutatis mutandis, of a
bitter liqueur from Valle d’Aosta, Genepy, made with some of these herbs – wait, we don’t want to be scoundrels and we write Latin sayings? Ok; let’s put it this way: have you ever walked in a
conifer forest being drunk on Genepy?). Slowly it opens onto sweet notes that are difficult to fully decipher; the malt feels fresh, but remains rather closed and pungent, albeit very fragrant. With water, it remains soft but the sweetness becomes more accessible: there are notes of almonds
(almond paste, it is sweet), dried figs in the background, tea leaves. Great complexity.
P: without water, it is difficult: delicious, but as was the nose it’s tough to penetrate immediately, in its sweet notes. With water, it opens wide and it’s pure pleasure: it’s really juicy, fruity, floral, of extraordinary complexity. There is everything: honey, dried figs, sweet plums, some citrus notes, very refined; the grassy dimension, of fresh hay, is the background for all these ever-changing aromas.
F: persistent, long but very delicate, almost nuanced finish. The wood is missing completely, and everything is played on grass, hay, almond, apples… Yummy, fresh and elegant.
Really delicious. In a sense, this whisky makes a curve: at the beginning it’s delicate and ‘closed’, very grassy; on the palate it opens up, it is full of aromas that are always very difficult to fully
interpret, you could stay there for hours admiring the nuances (unfortunately we only had a couple of samples); then in the finish it closes again. The result, in our opinion, is the best a malt from the Lowlands can offer. For this reason our enthusiastic judgment is 91/100. Congratulations to Max Righi and Ernesto Mainardi for the excellent selection.
Recommended soundtrack: Katie Melua – Two bare feet