One tradition of the Winnipeg Whisky Cabinet is to offer the guest an opportunity to chose from the open bottles an ‘appetizer’ whisky to warm up the palate for the evening goodies.
Neatly written in alphabetical order by distillery, the list was impressive with a range of affordable familiar friends to one that made me go ‘I can’t believe you have this!’
Clearly that was the one I selected…
Discontinued distilleries have a certain mystique about them. Even if not brilliant drams, the very fact that what you try today will be gone tomorrow and never to be replaced, adds a certain bittersweet element to the equation.
My past trysts with Rosebank were limited and mixed – largely as were from highly oxidated bottles that had remained on the shelf a little too long. However, a softer, more delicate dram isn’t such a bad way to start an evening… particularly if we would be continuing with a peaty theme…
What were some of the impressions from our Cabinet evening?
Rosebank 21 year (1990 / 2011), Bottle 1789 53.8%
- Nose – Sweet perfume, quite herbal, drizzle of honey, yet also salty with a clear alcohol chaser, a bit of malt started to push forward
- Palate – Hot and sour then mellowed into a solid yet soft whisky
- Finish – Lightly citrus with little else
Overall, it had a bit of a muted “burst of sunshine” quality. It may be relatively simple yet it is well crafted. I couldn’t help but wonder how it was when first opened…
What does the bottle have to say?
Light-bodied, this pale gold 21 year old comes from a last golden age at the distillery. Soft, fruity aromas on the nose give way to a delicate, even rose-scented, floral character. The palate is tongue-tingling, clean and fresh, becoming silky with a little water before a soft, flowery sweetness and lemony acidity lead to a round, drying finish.
Here is what the Cabinet lad’s shared:
Carissa selected the Rosebank 21 year old, a lowland whisky from a now shuttered distillery. This is a fiery cask strength whisky with the classic lightly herbal and floral lowland profile backed up by a solid malt core. It is not special in that is in no way complex or exciting, but it is special in that the distillery no longer exists. We drained the last few drops from the last bottle we will likely ever have. The sensation was somewhat akin to eating a baby northern white rhino.
Just curious, I took a peak at auction prices for this bottle… which were averaging in 2016 around US$650. Far steeper than my whisky indulgence budget so I was all the more grateful to have sampled a dram courtesy of the Cabinet.
Also quaffed at the Winnipeg “Cabinet” evening:
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