First visitors arrive as Rosebank Distillery in Falkirk opens its doors

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The first visitors to Rosebank Distillery will tour the building on the banks of the Forth & Clyde canal today.

Known as a “Sleeping Giant of Scottish Distilleries”, Rosebank has finally reawakened and will throw open its doors to welcome whisky enthusiasts from around the world.

After more than 30 years of closure, Ian Macleod Distillers has brought back to life the building to not only produce lowland malt whisky but provide a visitor-experience for the many guests wanting to see how that production takes place.

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The meticulous restoration has spanned the last four years, and the new distillery is now an iconic Falkirk landmark, as well as stimulating tourism and generating employment in a boost to the area’s economy.

Rosebank Distillery opens to the public. Pic: ContributedRosebank Distillery opens to the public. Pic: Contributed
Rosebank Distillery opens to the public. Pic: Contributed

The striking new distillery retains some key original features, which are complemented by contemporary, state-of-the-art elements, and materials from the original building have also been used.

Known as “The King of the Lowlands”, the first cask was filled in June 2023.

Stuart Hendry, brand homes director at Ian Macleod Distillers, said: “This is a huge moment for the people of Falkirk and the global whisky community. It has been an absolute pleasure watching Rosebank reawaken, with its original, unique distillation methods now sitting at the heart of inspiring new buildings that respect the original setting.

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"The sense of pride that the people of Falkirk have in Rosebank is very much felt by all of us at Ian Macleod Distillers and to be custodians of such an iconic distillery is a dream come true.

“Opening the doors today to visitors marks another historic chapter in the incredible story of Rosebank and we are excited to welcome whisky lovers from around the world into this incredible cathedral of distillation.”

To mark the distillery’s full revival, Rosebank has released its first distillery exclusive, and its oldest expression to date, Rosebank Vintage 1989. The 33 Year Old single malt Scotch whisky, bottled at its natural strength of 47.5 per cent ABV, is from the oldest year of the legacy stock. The new expression is a limited run of 650 bottles, and only available to buy from the distillery gift shop, priced at £3200.

As an celebratory opening day memento, distillery manager Malcolm Rennie will be on-site signing bottles after purchase.

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On the nose, the whisky presents a combination of tropical fruits, vanilla, aged oak, white grape, melon, upside down cake, custard, maple syrup and hints of liquorice. While the palate reveals flavours of bright lemon, peach, sweet menthol, gentle coriander and pepper spice.

Emma Oakes, blender at Rosebank said: “Such a grand occasion calls for an exceptional whisky, and our Rosebank Vintage 1989 is just that. We have had the unique opportunity to assess each of the rare Rosebank casks that have survived since the distillery’s closure in 1993. It was clear from the start that our 1989 casks, the oldest in our archive, would be perfect to create this incredibly special dram to toast to the revival of such a well-loved distillery.”

Whisky lovers looking to visit Rosebank Distillery in Falkirk can choose from three tour options; Rosebank Reawakening, Rosebank Rekindled and Rosebank Revered. Each tour starts with an immersive animation that recounts Rosebank’s "miraculous tale of turbulence and triumph”, all brought to life in the original distillery buildings.

A detailed tour of the distillery and still house follows, as well as the opportunity to taste Rosebank’s new make spirit and the award-winning expressions from Rosebank’s sister distilleries Glengoyne and Tamdhu. The Rosebank Revered tour offers a tutored tasting of three exceptionally rare and specially selected Rosebank expressions.

Rosebank distillery tours are available from today and can be booked here

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