Rosebank became known as the ‘King of Lowland whiskies’ not just for the quality of its single malt but also because of the way it was produced, having never strayed from the classic Lowland tradition of triple distillation. This has been part of our DNA from the start and will continue once Rosebank Distillery is back up and running.
Today, the vast majority of Scotch malt whisky is distilled twice, and Rosebank could easily do the same. It would certainly be cheaper and a lot less hassle, but as any whisky lover would tell you – it just wouldn’t be Rosebank. Using three pot stills greatly increases the amount of copper contact which has a marked impact on the whisky.
The vapours that rise off the boiling liquid in the pot condense and trickle back until some finally make it over the head of the still. The copper helps to strip out the heavy sulphur compounds, leaving a progressively purer spirit the more times you distil. Distilling three times seems to work beautifully for a supple, aromatic whisky like Rosebank.
Very few Scottish distilleries, even in the Lowlands, still use triple distillation, and none of those that do go on to condense the spirit in a wooden worm tub like Rosebank. That combination is totally unique and goes some way to explain why this is such a special single malt.