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Rosebank restoration gets under way

Ian Macleod Distillers has started restoration work on the historic Rosebank Distillery, which was mothballed more than 25 years ago.

Artist’s impression of Rosebank Distillery after restoration work is complete

The Scottish spirits firm acquired the site from Scottish Canals in 2017, when it also bought the Rosebank trademark and existing casks from previous owner Diageo, announcing its intention to revive production of Rosebank’s Lowland single malts. The distillery ceased operating in 1993.

Construction work at the distillery started today (18 November) and is expected to be completed in summer 2021. Plans, approved in January this year, include a visitor centre, which is expected to draw 50,000 people to the distillery’s hometown of Falkirk each year.

The 1,000-square-metre site will include a modern glass-fronted stillroom with all-new equipment, including three stills for triple distillation and worm tub condensers, which were previously used by the distillery. Its historic chimney stack, measuring at 108-feet-tall, will remain.

In addition, the distillery will house a tasting room, shop and warehouse. A range of tours will feature some of the last drams distilled at Rosebank before its closure.

Ian Macleod secured £80 million (US$104m) to fund the restoration project in 2017.

“This ground-break is an iconic milestone – it marks the start of a new and exciting chapter for both Rosebank and Ian Macleod Distillers,” said Mike Younger, finance director at Ian Macleod Distillers.

“Our vision was to bring this quintessential Lowland single malt back to life and ensure it could live on for generations to come – a dream that is now very much under way.

“More than ever, there is a real want for a Rosebank revival. It has now become somewhat of a collectors’ item, with bottles of 12-year-old selling at auction for £350 (US$454) plus, so there will be a lot of people excited to hear that work is officially under way.”

Once open, Rosebank distillery is expected to generate 25 full time jobs.

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