Whiskybase

Rosebank 1981

Overall rating
89.72/100
votes
274
Whiskybase ID
WB248
Category
Single Malt
Distillery
Bottler
Distillery Bottling
Bottling serie
Rare Malts Selection
Vintage
1981
Bottled
05.2002
Stated Age
20 years old
Number of bottles
6000
Strength
62.3 % Vol.
Size
700 ml
Barcode
5000281016719
Added on
12 aug 2007 3:22 pm
Non-chillfilteredCask Strength

Average value

€ 2550.21

60 × in wishlist

274 × member ratings

418 × in collection

Whisky Reviews for Rosebank 1981

55 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 89.72 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 Connoisseur

    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. LiquidThoughts 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. TomP scored this whisky 89 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      90 90
    • Taste
      90 90
    • Finish
      88 88

  9. DrunkDude scored this whisky 86 points Expert Senior

    scbp-5560, the flavor is a little monotonous, and it is calculated at the midline level in the RMS.
    • Nose
      90 90
      Malt, barley sugar, orange water, green apple, pollen, icing sugar, light resin, woody and mint, simple and refreshing. 90
    • Taste
      85 85
      Sweet and warm, honey, toffee, mint, slightly astringent, and then brought out a very bitter western medicine white tablet, white wood board, pepper, hemp pepper, and the bitterness is extremely long-lasting. The wine is rich in oil and fat, with strong bitterness in the middle and back. p86b85
    • Finish
      82 82
      There is a feeling of bubbles, the bitterness of western medicine continues, slightly astringent, the pepper is not obvious, a little sticky, and the finish is long. 82

  10. Jour.Ray did not rate this whisky Expert Senior

    Bottle No. 2212 was sold empty on ebay in feb 2022

  11. Rien scored this whisky 90 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      90 90
    • Taste
      89 89
    • Finish
      90 90

  12. 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).

  13. 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!

  14. 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.

  15. P.A.O.K.you_are scored this whisky 90 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      91 91
    • Taste
      90 90
    • Finish
      89 89

  16. GIORGOS scored this whisky 90 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      90 90
    • Taste
      91 91
    • Finish
      90 90

  17. valasios scored this whisky 90 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      88 88
    • Taste
      91 91
    • Finish
      90 90

  18. dRambo scored this whisky 92 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      93 93
    • Taste
      92 92
    • Finish
      92 92

  19. lincolnimp scored this whisky 89 points Connoisseur

    This was the result of a H2H of 9 Rosebanks, all between good to excellent score wise, a very enjoyable evening.
    All of them were cask strength except the 8 year unblended which more than held it's own in this company.
    1st place goes to the 20 year Zenith Import and the 25 year with the 2007 Special Release a close 2nd, both of these are officially distillery bottles.

    OB - 20 year 1987 Zenith Import 57% - wb id 3453 - 93/94/94 - 94p average
    OB - 25 year 1981 25 61.4% 2007 Special Release wb id 632 - 93/93/94 - 93p average
    IB - 27 year 1976 Signatory cask 2702 56.7 - wb id 4205 - 90/92/94 - 92p average
    IB - 30 year 1989 GM cask 2561 55% wb id 146504 - 92/91/93 - 92p average
    IB - 30 year 1974 DL, The Whisky Fair 55.8% wb id 2315 - 93/92/91 - 92p average
    IB - 30 year 1975 Silver Seal Sestante 54.8% - wb id 16579 -92/92/91 - 92p average
    OB - 20 year 1981 Rare Malts 62.3 - wb id 248- 89/91/90 - 90p average
    IB - 25 year 1991 Cadenhead 175th Anniversary 50.5% wb id 96450 - 91/90/90 - 90p average
    OB - 8 year unblended mini 40% wb id 8816 - 87/89/88 - 88p average

  20. Fat Bastard! scored this whisky 90 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      89 89
    • Taste
      91 91
    • Finish
      91 91

  21. Gregers scored this whisky 93 points Expert Senior

    Wonderful Rosebank. I'm a bit biased as Rosebank always feels like I'm "coming home", but review is as always not considering price or other factors, just the tasting experience.

    Review: https://youtu.be/r8DKHMVHrNA
    • Nose
      92 92
      Nothing like a Rosebank nose, really. Unique in it's light, yet extremely rich and pleasing character. Grassy notes, heather, a bit of lemon zest, vanilla, wood polish, herbal notes, apricot, slight peach also. Some minerality, quite a vigorous expression. Later a hint of charred wood or peat shows up.
    • Taste
      94 94
      Really feels like coming home. Just fantastic. There's an oily character, fruity like olive oil, which balances great with the strong alcohol warmth and muscovado sugar sweetness. Light oak and fresh grass also pop in. Second chew brings more oaky spices, barley, cinnamon, and green apple. Sweetness is perfect. Very light mint. Just good stuff. Third chew is even warmer, with freshly cracked black pepper, some lemon syrup, dried thyme and hay. I really love this stuff. At the very end some light peat notes develop as well.
    • Finish
      94 94
      Really nice, long, warm, sweetness turning into carrot sweetness, light spices, hint of cinnamon, apple, grass, and vague smoke. Everything lingers for ages, I swear it lasted for hours after this tasting. Amazing.

  22. dram-drinker scored this whisky 92 points Photo Moderator

    Very fresh, powerful and clean - great!
    • Nose
      92 92
      Intense, citrusy, lemon peel, grassy, minerals, limestone, little vanilla, spices, honeydew - very good!
    • Taste
      92 92
      Very punchy, oily, lemony, subtle sweetness, citrusy, little vanilla, spices, oak wood - great!
    • Finish
      91 91
      Long, burning - water recommended

  23. Soderberg scored this whisky 91 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      90 90
    • Taste
      92 92
    • Finish
      91 91

  24. pianoman scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      Freshly cut grass, cereals. Cake batter. Lemon behind and a hint of apricot. Green apple. A trace of horseradish.
    • Taste
      Lemon ice cream with mint and walnuts. Apricots. White chocolate, red pepper. At the end a slightly metallic sharpness.

  25. thijs100 scored this whisky 90 points Connoisseur

    Highly fascinating and very intriguing, I can't imagine I'll ever tire of this Rosebank.
    • Nose
      A whiff of lemon, floral honey, biscuits and cookie dough, but otherwise very closed, which I'm sure can be remedied by adding some water. Quite heathery now, as well as citrus and mint tea, but also a whisper of smoke. There's some minerality too. Ozone.
    • Taste
      Intensely malty, a tinge of charred oak and some hessian. Very creamy, big on the vanilla too. Yet it is subtle and rather well-behaved. It could do with some water though, which brings out menthol, charred lemon peel, subtle pineapple and a touch of peat.
    • Finish
      Chalk, menthol and yellow fruit.

  26. Baanaanaabob scored this whisky 90 points Connoisseur

    Tangerine white pepper grass honey camphor, very nice

  27. kimyikshu69 scored this whisky 96 points Expert Senior

    Strong, yet balanced and beautiful balanced of Rosebank. Rich flavor and aromatic, you can't miss its' nosing.

  28. Defeatless scored this whisky 90 points Expert Senior

    A very good whisky. The best Rosebank I've tasted so far.
    Yet too expensive though. Price can be around €200,- everything above is for investors.
    • Nose
      91 91
      Sweet, peaches, a very delicate nice nose. It is very well layered with touches of wood and spice, but overall there is quite some fruitiness. There is a fresh note in the background.
    • Taste
      90 90
      Sweet and soft. It brings fruity notes, some tropical notes and some pineapple juice.
      With water it turns even better with loads of sweetness and fruit juices.
    • Finish
      89 89
      Long length. A tad woody and a little bitter. But overall again the sweetness from peaches and pineapples.

  29. hans1971 scored this whisky 90 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      90 90
    • Taste
      91 91
    • Finish
      90 90

  30. JacobaEd scored this whisky 89 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      88 88
    • Taste
      90 90
    • Finish
      89 89

  31. ahroeen scored this whisky 92 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      92 92
      Beautiful! Yellow apples, cinnamon, orange peel. Light and fruity.
    • Taste
      93 93
      Still light, fruity and spicy. Oak shines through nicely. Malty, or is that freshly cut grass? A bit of freshly ground black pepper. Vanilla.
    • Finish
      91 91
      Long and lingering, letting the spices and fruits play around on my tongue.

  32. Bretorianer scored this whisky 92 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      92 92
    • Taste
      92 92
    • Finish
      91 91

  33. Tom na Gruagaich scored this whisky 85 points Connoisseur

    Lemon, clear, vanilla, pineapple, kiwi, peach, sweet, but also spicy & peppery. Not just the dram, but good.

  34. dRambo scored this whisky 92 points Connoisseur

    beautiful Oldschool Dram - has everything you could wish for, fruitiness, complex woody aromas, floral teenagers - delicious
    • Nose
      91 91
      Chamomile, sweet dusty old wood note, crystallized lemon zest, hazelnuts, apricot, pineapple, dates,
    • Taste
      92 92
      Pineapple, Dried figs, Wood, Wood dust, Furniture polish, Wax, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Clove, Licorice
    • Finish
      91 91
      Tea aromas, crystalline flowers, long, fine wood dust

  35. St. Pauli scored this whisky 89 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      Very complex: fruity, malty, flowery and herbal. There is lemon cheesecake, vanilla biscuit, daffodil, pineapple, green melon and coconut. Later, nuts and chalk emerge.
    • Taste
      Very powerful without water, and quite crisp (like a Sauvignon Blanc). With water, it opens and gives sweet lemon, unripe pineapple, kiwi, cupcake, breakfast cereal, daffodil, hyacinth, a hint of clove, and menthol.
    • Finish
      Long, quite chalky and malty, but with enough fruit, flower and herbs to counterbalance.

  36. LDB scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    Relatively disappointing, since it is rather closed, not very complex and not balanced, the alcohol is difficult to get to grips with. Doesn't even come close to old Broras.
    • Nose
      87 87
      Undiluted already quite a glue attack, eagle owl, Pattex, the whole program, that's why there is an espresso spoon of water, but even then the nose remains a challenge, apart from a lot of earthy, woody and a camphor-like pinimenthol note, it doesn't tell me much.
    • Taste
      87 87
      Despite H²O strong for it in the mouth, but the viscosity is great and saves it. With enough chewing I get a lot of fresh wood notes with lime and grapefruit.
      Nevertheless, the alcoholic sharpness is present, even after a few drops of water.
    • Finish
      86 86
      It remains brutal despite 2 espresso spoons on a good cl. Nevertheless, in the longer finish I can guess how good the distillate must have been. But: no rose without thorns;)

  37. GJR scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      90 90
    • Taste
      89 89
    • Finish
      86 86

  38. Mark-E scored this whisky 90 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      89 89
    • Taste
      91 91
    • Finish
      90 90

  39. FritzeKrautman scored this whisky 86 points Connoisseur

    he is similar to the 22 year old. Without water something better, more exciting with a surprising resinous touch. But he is not so good with water then, on the palate even clearly too weak.
    • Nose
      Fir resin, followed by vanilla, orange marmalade and light wood fire smoke. The alcohol stings something in the nose. With water fruity, now rather sweet pineapple.
    • Taste
      sweet and slightly fruity, some bitterness, strong pepper and alcohol. With water he loses massive strength.
    • Finish
      A long, rather intense finish, with saliva-inducing bitterness.

  40. stefsel111 scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      87 87
    • Taste
      87 87
    • Finish
      88 88

  41. Allandale scored this whisky 90 points Connoisseur

    Body: soft. Very smooth. Sweet. Camomile.
    • Nose
      Perfumy. Herbal. Vegetal.
    • Taste
      Starts quietly then explodes with flavorurs. Lemon grass.  Very spicy. Very dry. Intense.
    • Finish
      The same pulsating quietly as the 1979, 60.2%.

  42. Luigisim scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

    Old fashioned sweet dram with smoke in the background.

    Blind tasting notes from homemade Advent 2017 calendar, gentle gift of friends
    • Nose
      Honey followed by mild toasted peaty wood. Mahagony pipe
    • Taste
      Macerated sweet wood seasoned with white pepper and aceto balsamico
    • Finish
      Gentle smoke but is too long, quite pungent. Maybe the bottle was opened long before

  43. Hvdree scored this whisky 90 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      90 90
    • Taste
      91 91
    • Finish
      90 90

  44. AH Whiskyvitrine scored this whisky 90 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      90 90
    • Taste
      90 90
    • Finish
      92 92

  45. Glennie scored this whisky 91 points Expert Senior

    Nose: Quite
    spirity without water. Earthy notes. Fruits. Apples, pineapple and perhaps some
    ripe banana. Hay and floral notes. Dried flowers perhaps.

    Taste:
    Sweet and spicy. Icing sugar with a bit of lemon. Nutmeg and pepper. Pinapple,
    soft oak and a bit of vanilla. Complex and very mouthfilling. Prickles on your tongue
    but doesn’t feel spirity in your mouth.

    Finish: A
    hint of peat. The sweetness stays around for a while with the spices. It becomes
    dry towards the end, especially with water. Long and pleasant.

    Overall: Nice,
    complex and delicious whisky. The only thing that improves with water is the
    nose. But the rest do take a few drops of water without being harmed.

  46. Glennie scored this whisky 91 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      91 91
    • Taste
      93 93
    • Finish
      92 92

  47. lincolnimp scored this whisky 89 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      88 88
    • Taste
      87 87
    • Finish
      86 86

  48. Prof.Schoof did not rate this whisky Expert Senior

    This Whisky was sold for 590 € at Whiskyauction in Aug. 2015and for 378 € in July 2015

  49. lincolnimp scored this whisky 89 points Connoisseur

    With water this opens up but the water affects the sweetness, the more water you add the less sweet it gets

    A nice Rosebank but at 62.3% you cannot rush it.
    • Nose
      Spirity, vanilla, lemon, icing sugar.
       
    • Taste
      Very zesty, fruity & spicey on lemon drizzle cake, victoria sponge etc.
    • Finish
      Long, warming.

  50. zby0001 scored this whisky 91 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      91 91
    • Taste
      93 93
    • Finish
      90 90

  51. Allandale scored this whisky 90 points Connoisseur

    Medium bodied, a pre-dinner dram.
    • Nose
      Perfumed and floral, scent of violets. Fruity, preserved pears with custard sauce. Hint of smoke and toasted oatmeal cookies. A veil of cut grass. Aromatic spices. Oak wood.
    • Taste
      Lavender flowery and honey sweet, initially. Pear fruity. Creamy. Chocolate toffee. Citrus sourness balances the sweetness.
    • Finish
      Dry. Slightly tannic and astringent. Walnuts and a hint of fino sherry.

  52. aby scored this whisky 90 points Connoisseur

    nose: because of the high alcohol it is hard to nose, it needs a lot of time (and water). Wood, earthy notes, with water: lemon, forrest notes (moss)

    taste: 

    overall: not a typical fresh and fruity lowlander, this one needs time and nosing/tasting is heavy duty  90p

    eindejaarsproeverij met Elixer + JJ

    sample available on whiskysample.nl

  53. Erik Elixir scored this whisky 90 points Connoisseur

    N: sweet, fresh wood shavings, some vegetation, thyme, wet stones (schist) and white pepper
    T: butter, herbs, fresh bread and pine wood
    F: spicy, drying, oily and cake - pastry
    tasted with Aby and JJ

  54. The Macallan scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

    A wonderful Rosebank, a classical example of a Lowland en not to complex.
    • Nose
      Fresh and floral - dried cut grass, hay, light citrus - oranges and lemoncake (reduced: fresh, floral - gras, leaves, citrus - lemon/lime and very light aromatic).
    • Taste
       Full, light freshness, but less strong as the alcohol percentage give you the idea that it is (reduced: gentle and soothing, a touch of white pepper, slightly spicy and perhaps a little minty flavor).
    • Finish
      Quite long, a Springfreshness and slightly warming.

  55. Feusi scored this whisky 91 points Connoisseur

    Your head explodes. 20 years in the barrel and full power. Pretty bright yellow and well harmless in the nose, the first two drops on the tongue will show you, what whisky can be. Rosebank in such quality that everyone should try for.

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