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Rosebank Distillery back in business after 30 years

Published:  25 March, 2024

Rosebank Distillery, known as the ‘King of the Lowlands’, is set to re-open its doors to the public in June after a three-decade hiatus.

Closed 31 years ago in 1993, the distillery was once known for producing one of the lightest, most floral Scotch whiskies, with Rosebank becoming synonymous with a style of non-peated, triple distilled Lowland Single Malt. Its fruity floral style is achieved through a combination of triple distillation and worm tub condensers – a production technique that is unique to Rosebank Distillery.

Now, the Falkirk site is ready to launch a launch full-scale revival thanks to a four-year restoration project under via Ian Macleod Distillers, which also owns Glengoyne, Tamdhu and Edinburgh Gin.

MD Leonard Russell spoke of how he was “determined” to save the distillery.

He said: “I could see that Rosebank Distillery was held in extremely high regard and it was a huge shame that it closed when it was distilling some of the best spirit for the Scotch whisky industry.

“Being small, Rosebank was one of the more expensive whiskies to produce, but in my view that’s no reason to close a distillery. Its reopening will be a very special moment for its hometown of Falkirk, for the Scotch industry and for whisky lovers everywhere.”

Harpers recently reported on the boom in smaller Scotch distilleries operating across Scotland, with the tally currently sitting at around 150 distilleries – the most since the end of World War II. Around a third of those have been established in the past decade, as distillers struggled to keep apace with demand for mature single malts.

The Rosebank Distillery renovation project has focused on blending its heritage with aspects of modern architecture, with the distillery’s Victorian red brickwork still facing the Forth and Clyde canal.

The original mill, thought to be around 103 years old, has been retained and continues to be used in the production of Rosebank’s whisky as it did over thirty years ago. A new dunnage style warehouse has been built from the bricks of its historic counterpart, which now showcases casks of the original Rosebank alongside the first casks of the new spirit. The landmark 108ft chimney stack has also been repaired and continues to dominate Falkirk’s skyline.

Malcolm Rennie, distillery manager at Rosebank, said: “The process of bringing Rosebank Distillery back to life has been meticulous, with a huge amount of detail going into each and every element. It was very important that we paid homage to Rosebank’s history and story, and we feel we’ve done it justice by incorporating so much of the former distillery into our new home.

“The whole team at Rosebank are overjoyed to finally share our beautiful new distillery with whisky admirers across the world. We’re extremely proud of what we’ve created and can’t wait to open our doors this summer.”