Tales from the Rosebank as distillery returns

A Scots distillery which was mothballed for a quarter of a century is closer to its return as work continues to restore the Rosebank Distillery in Falkirk.

For over 150 years Rosebank produced malt whisky by the banks of the Forth & Clyde canal.

But it looked like end end when the lowland distillery closed in 1993 and talk of rescue plans soon came to nothing.
However, Rosebank is to be reborn after it was bought last autumn by Ian Macleod Distillers.

The independent, family-run whisky firm, which also owns Tamdhu and Glengoyne, is determined to restore Rosebank to its former glory, and rebuild the distillery right down to the last rivet in its stills.

A spokesman said: ‘While there are tales of remote Highland distilleries surviving after long periods of silence, there is far more pressure on land in the Lowlands. One can just imagine the developers eyeing up the derelict site and licking their lips in anticipation.

‘Well, against all the odds Rosebank survived in one piece, allowing it to be rescued along with the few remaining casks of single malt in the warehouse. It is now in good hands with family-owned, independent Ian Macleod Distillers. Its new owners are committed to the pursuit of restoring Rosebank to what it used to be – the undisputed “King of the Lowlands”.’

Technically, Rosebank was ‘mothballed’ for better times ahead, but as the years passed, any hope of re-opening began to fade.

In 2002 the site was sold to British Waterways who owned the Forth & Clyde canal and the old maltings were converted into flats.

Six years later, in what seemed to be the final death knell, thieves broke in and stole the three pot stills and the mash tun.

This was where the new owners stepped in and rescued it in the nick of time before it could be bulldozed into history.
Ian Macleod Distillers MD Leonard Russell said: ‘It needs a lot of tender loving care to bring it back to its former glory, so we’re going to have to rebuild some of the site from scratch.’

The new owners have vowed to restore this triple-distilled gem of a distillery as best they can in a world that has moved on 25 years.

Find out more HERE.

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