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Rosebank to reopen after 30-year absence

After a four-year restoration project, Rosebank Distillery will reopen to the public this summer – officially on Friday 7 June.

The distillery will open to the public on 7 June, for the first time since 1993.

Known as the ‘king of the Lowlands’, the distillery has laid dormant since 1993, and was acquired by Ian Macleod Distillers for restoration in 2017 with the objective to bring the site ‘back to its former glory’.

Ian Macleod Distillers secured an £80 million (US$105m) refinancing package to support the revival of the closed Lowland whisky distillery in 2017. However, the full investment behind the distillery’s reopening has not been disclosed.

Now out of its 30-year slumber, the newly-restored site mixes modern updates with old features retained from its original run, which honour the distillery’s heritage.

For starters, the distillery’s Victorian red brickwork faces the Forth and Clyde canal, while a new glass-fronted stillroom has been installed from the front of the building. Here, visitors will see exact copies of the original stills, replicated using blueprints salvaged from the Rosebank archives.

The original mill, said to be around 103 years old, has been kept and will be used in the distillery’s whisky production, just as it was three decades ago. Furthermore, a new dunnage style warehouse has been built from the bricks of its historic counterpart, which now showcases casks of the original Rosebank next to the first casks of the new Rosebank spirit.

The 108ft chimney stack has also been repaired and continues to ‘dominate’ Falkirk’s skyline.

Leonard Russell, managing director of Ian Macleod Distillers, said: “I could see that Rosebank Distillery was held in extremely high regard and it was a huge shame that it closed when it was distilling some of the best spirit for the Scotch whisky industry.

“Being small, Rosebank was one of the more expensive whiskies to produce, but in my view that’s no reason to close a distillery. Its reopening will be a very special moment for its hometown of Falkirk, for the Scotch industry and for whisky lovers everywhere.”

Visitors can book three distinct tours

‘World class’ visitor experiences

When the distillery reopens, guests will have access to ‘world-class’ visitor experiences, including three tours: Rosebank Reawakening, Rosebank Rekindled and Rosebank Revered.

The guided tours will take guests through spaces such as the six tasting rooms, the original mill and the pot stills where the spirit is triple-distilled and condensed in traditional wooden worm tubs.

Two of the tours will also offer bespoke tutored tasting of ‘extremely rare and old’ Rosebank whisky, and each one will finish up at the new distillery shop where exclusive expressions are available for purchase.

Tours will start from £25 (US$32) per person, going up to £300 (US$379), and can be booked every day of the week through the distillery’s site.

Malcolm Rennie, distillery manager at Rosebank, added: “The process of bringing Rosebank Distillery back to life has been meticulous, with a huge amount of detail going into each and every element.

“It was very important that we paid homage to Rosebank’s history and story, and we feel we’ve done it justice by incorporating so much of the former distillery into our new home.

“The whole team at Rosebank are overjoyed to finally share our beautiful new distillery with whisky admirers across the world. We’re extremely proud of what we’ve created and can’t wait to open our doors this summer.”

Fans of cult distillery resurrections have had a lot to cheer about as of late, with Port Ellen and Brora also both restarting production following long periods of closure.

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