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Friday, June 28, 2024

Roseisle 12 year old, Diageo Special Releases 2023

In what may be a shoutout to us whisky geeks, Diageo has brought an official Roseisle single malt into the world. I'm a bit curious which Roseisle we're getting. Much like Yamazaki and Loch Lomond (how about that duo!), Roseisle Distillery was designed to produce different whiskies for different products. And though it was a Death Star-sized monstrosity when it opened in 2009, Roseisle's annual production is no longer shocking. Glenfiddich, Glenlivet, and Macallan each produces more spirit. Meanwhile Alisa Bay and Diageo's own Glen Ord have almost the same annual output as Roseisle, as of this year.

In any case, this actual special release was matured with minimal cask tinkering, so hopefully it will highlight the spirit (whatever type it may be) produced at this big baby production facility.

Distillery: Roseisle
Owner: Diageo
Region: Speyside (Moray)
Age: minimum 12 years
Bottling year: 2023
Maturation: first-fill bourbon casks and "refill" casks
Outturn: ?????
Alcohol by Volume: 56.5%
Chillfiltered? ???
e150a? ???
(from a bottle split)


It starts off mild and grassy on the nose, with small notes of lemons, apricots, and wet stones. Anise, cardamom, and vanilla sugar wafers arrive next. The fresh apricot note grows with time, while a few digestive biscuits join in. Dried apricot is the loudest note in the very sweet palate, with orange candy, lemon candy, a bit of barley in the background. May I repeat, this is very sweet. It finishes with orange liqueur and hints of milk chocolate and lemon juice.

DILUTED to 46%abv, or 1⅓ tsp of water per 30mL whisky

The fresh apricot note remains in the nose's foreground, with orange blossoms, and apple peels filling in the rest. Meanwhile, the palate and finish feel oakier, saltier, harsher, and hotter, as the tannins start to rumble.


Diageo was successful, this does indeed taste like a decent Speyside-ish malt that could brighten up many a blend. I like all the apricots, though the palate gets too sugary for this curmudgeon. With some good blending, this could easily take on Glens Fiddich's and Livet's 12 year olds without a problem, though that's no longer much of a feat. It's a casual drink, in fact I need my written notes because I've mostly forgotten the palate, less than an hour later, though I remember it doesn't swim well. Yet the apricots...

Availability - Still available in North America and Europe
Pricing - $125-$175
Rating - 82 (neat only)

1 comment:

  1. Hi there,

    "Any distillery can make more than one style of whisky – and many do [Bruichladdich, Springbank]. Diageo’s Roseisle however was, with Aisla Bay, part of a new wave which have been specifically designed to produce a range of different characters of spirit."


    Roseisle can copy the character of many single malts in the Diageo stable so it can lighten the burden to produce single malts on the smaller Diageo malt distilleries. Cardhu as the leading malt for Johnnie Walker comes to mind - and the questions what you have in your bottle of JW exactly when you buy one. Original Cardhu or the carbon Roseisle copy. And that is not the only one. In theory they probably could make a JW with none of the original malts and only the grains from their original distilleries. But who would do such an thing for profit.... exactly.

    So it is hard to tell if there is a Roseisle distillery charakter and if so which of the many? The could even make a totally meaningless Singleton of Roseisle... but I degress.
    So the very good question is and was: What was that Special Release Roseisle and can it be repeated?