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Rosebank "Unity" - Penultimate Release From The Whisky Exchange Rosebank "Roses" Series

What you need to know:

  • The Whisky Exchange's annual Valentine's Day release - the Rosebank Roses series, is in its penultimate (second last) release, with 2022's release named "Unity".
  • Obviously they go like hotcakes given the wonderful story TWE has crafted around the set, and also because Rosebank being a lost distillery, has much scarcity value.
  • Quick recap: TWE's Rosebank Roses bottlings were drawn from a marriage of casks of the single malt, drawn from a batch of 15 casks, and then bottled at 21 Years Old, for a total of 7 instalments to be released annually across 7 years.
  • "Aged for 21 years in a mixture of bourbon and madeira casks, it is the sixth and penultimate entry in the series. It brings together the classic, floral-and-grassy character of Rosebank – closed since 1993 – and adds layers of vanilla and spice thanks to the carefully selected casks."
  • This one goes for 1,350 GBP (2x some of the earlier releases in the series) and will be allocated via ballot which runs from 14 Feb to 16 Feb 2022 (details below) - check your emails!
  • My take: Great bottles, tastes great, story is great; have certainly gotten more expensive, due to some personal trauma involving 24 hours of page refreshing for the "Jealousy" bottling has conditioned me to give these releases a miss.
  • Cop the Drop or Not Verdict: Go for it, if you have the means!

 

(Image Source: The Whisky Exchange)

 

The Whisky Exchange (TWE) loves holiday-themed traditions, Black Friday, Christmas, April Fool's, just to name a few - where you can count on the online retailer to have something exciting ready to drop for their fans.

Yet, none probably comes close to TWE's Valentine's Day ritual - The Rosebank Roses series.

For starters, the entire concept is simply a great story - Valentines Day and Roses - what's not to love (pun intended)? But whisky folks don't mess around, it's also what's in the bottle that counts. And here is where TWE really takes the cake, they've bottled a set of Rosebank's to be released in a series, each named after the various varieties of roses, reflecting not just the different facets to the fabled Lowland distillery, but also the whisky's own "romantic, floral character and also the love affair that so many have with this distillery".

 

The closed Rosebank Distillery became the source of some legendary bottlings, and you will not believe the ridiculous reason it was shut in the first place. (Image Source: Falkirk Herald)

 

The Rosebank Distillery

Rosebank itself is probably sufficient to inspire much excitement. The Lowland distillery having been mothballed in 1993, despite having produced some of the most archetypal Lowland malts that displayed great complexity, body, and wonderful notes of fresh florals, grassiness and light orchard fruits - they are loved so much for their elegance.

Yet, a couple of things led to the closure of Rosebank as mentioned, which you can read more about here, where we've taken a look at the legendary Lowland distillery.

Given that the distillery no longer produces whisky (at least till the summer of 2022, when it is due to be reopened after a whole host of delays), whatever has been salvaged is of course, highly scarce and of course, highly sought after.

Read more about Rosebank Distillery here.

 

The revived Rosebank Distillery due to start production summer of 2022. (Image Source: ScotchWhisky.com)

 

TWE's Rosebank Roses

And so, awhile back, TWE smartly acquired a small parcel of Rosebank casks which were matured for 21 years and bottled them into their "Roses" set, consisting of 7 installments, each to be released on Valentine's Day annually, for 7 years.

To be precise, the 7 releases are drawn from "a marriage of casks of single malt, drawn from a batch of 15".

 

 (Image Source: The Whisky Exchange)

 

 

"Each Rose balances soft fruit and spice to create a truly spellbinding whisky"

The Whisky Exchange

 

 

For 2022's release, the bottling named "Unity", will be released via a private ballot open to subscribers of TWE's newsletter - something you wanna do because *hint* a ton of TWE's best releases come via the newsletter's private ballots.

"Aged for 21 years in a mixture of bourbon and madeira casks, it is the sixth and penultimate entry in the series. It brings together the classic, floral-and-grassy character of Rosebank – closed since 1993 – and adds layers of vanilla and spice thanks to the carefully selected casks. It’s an old-fashioned style of whisky that is rarely seen these days, and a slice of history from a distillery that closed almost 30 years ago."

 

Ballot Details

Ballot is open to TWE newsletter subscribers. So check your emails!

  • Ballot will run from 14 February 2022 00:00 GMT to 16 February 2022 23:59 GMT.
  • Hit "Enter Ballot" in your email newsletter from TWE announcing the release.
  • You'll first have to complete the checkout process with only the Rosebank Unity bottling and nothing else.
  • Upon successful entry, your card used to make payment will be charged automatically.
  • You'll be notified via email of both your ballot entry and the outcome of your ballot entry.
  • Only one entry per person!

 

Our Take

I remember a time in the first couple of the Roses releases where TWE would simply drop the bottle for sale at an unspecified time on the 14th February and you had to refresh for a good 24 hours like your life depended on it. And if you managed to catch the availability of the bottle online for sale, you'd rush to checkout and that would be the end of it.

Obviously, as time passed and the demand for such rare bottles soared, TWE has come up with newer methods to allocate the bottlings - which has made it a massive relief for those trying to get a bottle (without having to refresh incessantly), but total hell for those looking to bag the full set.

The prices of the bottlings have also gone up by more than 2x since the earlier releases of the set, which I would not imagine stopping malt maniacs.

But kudos to TWE for switching it to a ballot, a great way of allocating the bottlings, and certainly I would imagine the high price point of 1,350 GBP would also go some way in deterring those who aren't serious buyers, leaving a pool of diehard Rosebank fans. Great job!

 

(Image Source: The Whisky Exchange)

 

For the bottlings themselves, I've only had the fortune to sample "True Love" (2nd in the series), "Jealousy" (3rd in the series), and "Grace" (4th in the series), and I must say I've truly enjoyed all three of 'em, even if the prices have steadily gone up along the way, tipping the "value for money" scale ever so unfavorably.

But they are great bottlings. Now, would I throw my name in the hat for the latest "Unity" bottling? No, count me out. Though I must confess that it has nothing to do with the bottle itself, but everything to do with my incessant refreshing for 24 hours in hopes of landing "Jealousy" and then seeing it finally come online whilst I was wearily on the way home after a long day and was waiting on a red light to turn green, only to see it go for 600 GBP (? Someone correct me if my weary 2019 eyes deceived me) and could not bring myself to fork out the some even as I stared at it (for a couple of minutes) in my checkout basket, before I was informed it had become unavailable. Jealousy, indeed.

 

Close to 24 hours of refreshing, to let it go 😢 . If I recall it was released at 11 PM... (Image Source: The Whisky Exchange)

 

But yeah, simply can't bear to fork out 2x what I saw back in 2019 which already was very steep for me. But hey, if you have the means, go for it, you won't be disappointed!

 

Cop the Drop or Not Verdict: Go for it, if you have the means!

 

If you liked reading about the Rosebank "Unity" bottling, you'll probably like these:

 

Kanpai!

 

@111hotpot