Roseisle is the newest powerhouse distillery from Diageo. It was built in 2009 and one of its key features is the ability to switch between different styles of spirit. Whether they need a light grassy malt or a meaty, sulphury style, Roseisle can create it by tweaking condensers and other elements. They can choose between steel or copper condensers for instance, and they can play with fermentation and distillation speed.
So far all Roseisle production went into blends (such as Bell’s), so the fact that it is now on the market as a single malt, is really interesting. At least one truly unique offering in the 2023 Special Releases.
Roseisle 12 yo (56,5%, OB Special Releases 2023, first-fill bourbon + refill casks)
Nose: very inviting, nicely fruity and rather vivid. Hints of pineapple and banana, with aromatic peaches and lighter lemony notes. Yellow plums. Somehow this has a rummy element to it. Then a lot of vanilla notes, think apple cake and custard, a little hay and coconut cream. Whiffs of marzipan and butter biscuits too.
Mouth: still a fruity core with vanilla custard, but also a lot of spiciness. White pepper and ginger, with a hint of nutmeg. Then it goes back towards peaches, a little mango, tangerine and kiwi. It quickly moves to charred oak and wood spice though – is most of the fruitiness also the result of great quality bourbon casks?
Finish: quite long, on aniseed and caraway, light yeasty notes and green fruits. A light zesty bitterness as well, but always pleasant.
As a spirit style this is really friendly and a tad middle-of-the-road perhaps (Glen Elgin came to mind), but nonetheless perfectly executed. Lovely fruity nose! Not highly distinct but quite promising. I hope this will become a precursor to a wide-scale Roseisle expression. I would recommend buying the 20cl bottle of this Roseisle instead of the 70cl bottle.