Rosebank 13, 1990 (Whisky Galore)

RosebankMy third Rosebank and my first from a sherry cask. There are some who say that Rosebank’s distinctive quaIities are best appreciated in bourbon cask matured malt, but I’ve obviously not had enough from the distillery to have any opinion on this front. This is from Duncan Taylor’s defunct Whisky Galore line.

Rosebank 13, 1990-2003 (46%; Whisky Galore, sherry cask; from a sample received in a swap)

Nose: Obviously sherried but not overbearingly so. Raisins, some honey, mild citrus. With time there’s an increased maltiness and a leafy quality. The citrus becomes a little stronger–somewhere between orange and lemon. Water takes it closer to lemon.

Palate: Hmmmm a little blank and flat on the palate. There are some sherried notes but this feels far more watered down than a whisky at 46% should. With time a little bit of lime maybe. Hmmm the palate seems to wake up a bit with some air–some indistinct sherried notes but a little more spark now. Dare I add water? Well, why the hell not. Water brings out some sweetness (simple syrup) and brightens it up a little. Odd how a few drops of water make it taste less watered down.

Finish: Medium’ish; not terribly interesting.

Comments: This is drinkable enough, if rather anonymous, but has nothing to really recommend it. It’s possible that this sample does not represent the bottle in its prime, but I can only review what I taste. My (tepid) search continues for a Rosebank that will help me understand why some people rhapsodize about this distillery.

Thanks to bpbleus for the sample!

Rating 82 points (80 without water).

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