Rosebank Reborn

It looked like Rosebank R.I.P. when the axe fell on this much-loved Lowland distillery in 1993 and talk of rescue plans soon came to nothing. For 24 long years it sat empty and forlorn awaiting demolition, or so it seemed, which makes the news of its revival, announced in October, all the more amazing.

There was a real sense of dismay among whisky lovers the day the stills at Rosebank ran cold. The closure of the distillery in 1993 was considered a “grievous loss” by the late whisky guru Michael Jackson who never doubted that Rosebank was one of the greats. Many felt the same way, and value began to soar for what was left of its precious stocks. ‘The King of the Lowlands’ appeared destined for a slow death, one bottle at a time.

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.

But as we know, Rosebank is to be reborn. It was rescued in the nick of time before it could be bulldozed into history and buried beneath housing or a new supermarket. The independent family-owned Ian Macleod Distillers managed to rescue the Rosebank name. “It needs a lot of tender loving care to bring it back to its former glory,” says the firm’s MD, Leonard Russell. “So we’re going to have to rebuild some of the site from scratch.” You can watch Leonard talk about this big whisky project here.

For those who know and love the taste of Rosebank, 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. And for those who have yet to experience this beautiful and beguiling single malt, a real treat awaits.

2018-09-14T21:19:10+00:00September 14th, 2018|Distillery, Distillery Planning, History, Video, Whisky|


  1. Howard Goldstein September 14, 2018 at 4:46 pm - Reply

    Best of luck. I look forward to sampling the revived Rosebank.

  2. Brian Goldie September 14, 2018 at 6:47 pm - Reply

    As a Camelon boy born and bred, I am delighted that the Rosebank will reopen around 2020/21. I have seen the artists impression of the finished article and look forward to the day when I can walk over the threshold at the opening and in time sample the finished article.

  3. Steve very September 14, 2018 at 9:03 pm - Reply

    I don’t like whiskey but I am so glad that Rosebank is going to restored to its former state . I go past that building for many yrs thinking what a dam shame it’s been left empty. I seem the artist impression and it looks amazing. Well done ?

  4. Tom Millar September 14, 2018 at 9:58 pm - Reply

    Look forward to the reopening

  5. Smeds September 15, 2018 at 1:53 am - Reply

    it was brilliant. You have a great obligation. Don’t mess up.

  6. Kent Aulin September 30, 2018 at 8:40 pm - Reply

    We in Sweden are very interested in the witches’ dram from Scotland.
    Whiskey lovers in Sweden look forward to Rosebank opening again.

    Kent Aulin

  7. Rene Ramon October 27, 2018 at 9:01 am - Reply

    I got 1 bottle of Rosebank Fauna & Flora and 1 bottle of Rosebank Rare Malt under the eves left for when the distillery opens again OR when I reach 75 ! Let’s see what comes first!!

  8. Steve chambers October 28, 2018 at 11:47 am - Reply

    Look forward to seeing the distillery up and producing whisky again

  9. Ian McCreadie May 31, 2019 at 4:17 pm - Reply

    I’m very glad to hear about Rosebank Distillery re-opening after so long. I used to drive by myself when I lived in Falkirk. I had a wee dram of Rosebank recently and it was pure magic. As a distillery operator up in Moray I will be watching when the recruitment process starts.

    • Rosebank June 6, 2019 at 3:31 pm - Reply

      Thanks Ian, we’re already looking forward to that first dram of new Rosebank!

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