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Rosebank 12 yo (fine anni ’70, Zenith Import, OB, 43%)

It took ten days to recover from the shock of that Christmas Clynelish; we are still not convinced at all that it was a human and not a divine work, so we try to find rest with a lowland malt coming from the past too. Rosebank 12 years old, Zenith import, a notable bottle for the italian market that we opened at Tasting Facile last october.

Schermata 2014-01-06 alle 12.02.39

N: nosing this Rosebank blind, we couldn’t have known “Lowland”, but it’s clear it comes from the past, with a mix of very fascinating and not at all obvious suggestions: there is both the sign of some youth (very malty, cerealous), and a sort of shielding patina that we find only in whisky from a previous era (cork, wet wood, wax, old libraries). Then we’ve got some kind of composite liqueur sweetness (a higher portion of sherry casks is here): amaretto, strawberry jam, zuppa inglese, ripe red apples, raisins. A hint of citrus and touches of fresh flowers. In the end we detect a spicy note as well, which reminds us of an old kitchen cupboard with mixed spices. 

P: it’s a really easydrinking lowlander malt. There is a great consistency with the nose, even if the liquor side is lighter, while there are very clear malty notes, biscuits, muesly in the foreground. Amaretto again, and a lovely wax, chocolate and pipe tobacco (isn’t it almost smoky?). It’s really polite and elegant but still alive.  

F: surprisingly long and intense; animated by dried fruit and a little smoke, on a blanket of biscuits with strawberry confit. 

We do not regret a past that has never been present for us, but certainly we must admit that in modern whisky we aren’t able to find certain aromas, put together in this way. What will we think when the present will be past and the future present? Dunno, in the meanwhile let’s put a 88/100 on this great Rosebank! 

Recommended soundtrack: Robbie Williams a standard from the great Frank Sinatra – Puttin’ on The Ritz.

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