Rosebank 1981

Overall rating
Whiskybase ID
Single Malt
Distillery Bottling
Bottling serie
Rare Malts Selection
Stated Age
20 years old
Number of bottles
62.3 % Vol.
700 ml
Added on
12 Aug 2007 3:22 pm
Non-chillfilteredCask Strength

Average value

€ 1866.61

55 × in wishlist

267 × member ratings

418 × in collection

Whisky Reviews for Rosebank 1981

51 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 89.74 points

  1. MaltMartin scored this whisky 89 points Connoisseur

    As always with Rare Malts whisky's, it needs time to discover all aspects of its flavour and taste.
    • Nose
      Quite spirity. Also wet grass and hay. Herbal and flowery notes. Later on citrus fruit of lemon and lime.
    • Taste
      It's very waxy and mouthfilling. Zesty. Vanilla and honey. Pineapple and coconut. Oaky harshness. Spices of nutmeg and white pepper. Also ginger.
    • Finish
      Quite long. Bitter-sweetness. Minty. Complex.

  2. peatbogger scored this whisky 91 points Specialist

    A cracker of a dram. Unfortunately for me it was just a sample. I can only wish for a bottle as I feel this will only get better by the dram. It needs and deserves to be experimented a bit with water.
    • Nose
      91 91
      Dive in to quick and your nose hair will curl up.
      At 62,3% there's no doubt this is hot, but in a very clean and fresh way.
      Sweet lemon and green apples.
      A barn full of dry hay, with the dust tickling in the nose.
      Very pleasant and inviting.
      With a little time a light wood note emerge.
      Water brings out even more lemon and sweetness.
    • Taste
      92 92
      Surprisingly light arrival with a waxy texture.
      Clean peppery spice develop along with light chocolate.
      Water mellows it down very nicely, but it retains the texture.
      The pepper eases off a bit and it becomes more nutmeg.
      Citric notes turn more towards pineapple.
    • Finish
      90 90
      It coats, sticks and stays... long time.
      Neat it retains a pleasing peppery warmth accompanied by something reminding me of a very good olive oil
      With water everything is toned down a bit, and for the finish it was actually more interesting without.

  3. Jackson05 scored this whisky 88 points Expert Senior

    I agree with maltmartin here. Needs time to unravel, but it’s very hot out of the gate. Lots of chili oil, red wine vinegar, hessian, ginger, white pepper and honey. Needs lots of time, but like other rare malts, is an assault of the senses.

    I like it, but I don’t love it. Certainly not for the prices it goes for now.

  4. ColdAesthetics scored this whisky 91 points Connoisseur

    We had to laugh right at the tasting, because all involved could confirm the late blow how this works? No idea. But exciting own notes and a nice mix of sweetness, pungency and minerals / salt is there, top part.
    • Nose
      Rises directly into the synapses, the power is clearly noticeable, banana, marzipan, coconut and a little smoked bacon, honeydew melon, apricot, physalis, cream, vanilla, light honey, chalk and salt, lemon ice cream and papaya
    • Taste
      Comes first very pleasant, if full, all the fruits again with papaya, lemon, banana, honeydew melon, apricot, etc.
      Then, after more than 10 seconds, an alcoholic punch suddenly comes into my face, like I have never had it so late and vigorous and explode all kinds of new notes, fennel, anise, ginger, wasabi, avocado paste, cardamom, tonka beans, white pepper, very crazy and something Asian
    • Finish
      Burning tea, eucalyptus, more oak now, some more anise, candied ginger, honeydew melon and some dry apricot, rose water, long to very long

  5. lincolnimp scored this whisky 89 points Connoisseur

    Not tasted this for over 5 years , this is no 8 in a h2h but being honest it is only here because I could not find my sample of 1979 20 year OB rare malts.

    I think I was a little harsh last time, playing around with water gets the best out of this, worth 90 points, up 3 points from last time.
    • Nose
      89 89
      Not particularly expressive at first, green apple and apple skins, a little pear and a little cream.
      There is some cereal in the mix and hints of gooseberry.
    • Taste
      91 91
      Green apple skins mixed with a little peat and a little cream at first, just the wrong side of harsh for me.
      There is actually a nice splash of white pepper in this mixing with a dash of peat and as the minutes in air pass by this gets better.
      Now I get it, you have to play around with water to get the best out of this, around 54-55% is where this shines which is what i did not do last time.
    • Finish
      90 90
      Quite creamy on the finish with the white pepper and peat remaining.

  6. daverdaz scored this whisky 95 points Expert Senior

    Final stage !!!

  7. sagara-kun scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

    More friendly than the 25.35 tasted in parallel.
    Alcohol exceeded too much as often.
    But beautiful complexity, and still a little balance.
    • Nose
      Very strong nose on alcohol as often with rare malts.
      A lot of citrus. Mandarin skin. Kiwi. White flower.
    • Taste
      In the mouth it's still beefy.
      Ginger, pepper, citrus, yellow fruits.
      Lemon, yuzu, tangerine, orange.
      Basilica, thyme.

      With water we have caramel, apple pie. From the floating island.
    • Finish
      Long finish on citrus fruits, wood, lemon candy.

  8. Cobo scored this whisky 92 points Expert Senior

    Found the tasting notes in one of my old notebooks from 2012. A dram cost € 8 back then

    For me a very good malt - very easy to drink and every sip a feast. I was really in love with this malt.
    • Nose
      93 93
      very fresh and sweet, lots of citrus fruits but also peach and pineapple, sweet cotton candy notes and vanilla again and again
    • Taste
      91 91
      very round and fresh, elegant sweetness of fresh fruits, slightly peppery, cotton candy, vanilla
    • Finish
      90 90
      quite long and complex, wonderful citrus aromas and after a few minutes something that reminds me of Japanese green tea (Bancha).

  9. Rosebanker66 scored this whisky 93 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      91 91
    • Taste
      94 94
    • Finish
      93 93
      The best Rosebank from the Rare series. With distance!

  10. Andytka3 scored this whisky 92 points Connoisseur

    1611) Rosebank, 1981/2002, 20YO, Rare Malts Selection, Limited Edition
    Early 80s' with glorious strength, expectation is high with this one.
    • Nose
      N- Brims with scorching earths and open lawn of fresh grass. Swift spicy lemon and citrus intertwined with scents of blooming orchid farm, moist branches and fagara peppers. The alluring semi-cream meander between the fore notes with underlying barley sugar, honey, crushed almonds coated chocolate with hints of flinty mineral. Raised with lovely density and structure that often missing from a tripled distilled malt. (94/23)
    • Taste
      P- Dazzling spicy-sweetness glaze the palate instantly, then march along with white chocolate ganache and pristine fresh pressed milk. Thicken up well as it swirl on the palate with free flowing of orange peels, creamy milk and zesty citrus fruits. Assertive yet so tender. (94/23)
    • Finish
      F- Medium long, may be ended a wee short for the standard, sweet wort, citrus, toasty, spicy with subtle warmness developed at the back. (90/22)

      B/B- 93/23

      Weighted Rate- 92pt. +1 for pre 90's malt.


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