A DISTILLERY known as the “King of the Lowlands” is to open to its doors to the public for the first this summer.

Rosebank Distillery in Falkirk has been brought back to life following a “meticulous” four-year restoration by Ian Macleod Distillers, 30 years after it was put into mothballs.

Ian Macleod acquired the distillery from Diageo in 2017 in a deal which included the Rosebank trademark and existing stocks, while a separate deal with Scottish Canals saw it purchase the site on the banks of the Forth & Clyde Canal.

The distillery completed its first production run in three decades last July and is now set to throw open the doors to the whisky-loving public on Friday June 7.

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.

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“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.”

Ian Macleod, which also owns the Glengoyne and Tamdhu distilleries, said the revamped Rosebank “beautifully honours the building’s heritage”, combining some of the original structure with “striking” modern architecture. It noted that the distillery’s Victorian red brickwork faces the Forth and Clyde canal, while a “spectacular” new glass-fronted stillroom is visible from the front, where visitors will find exact copies of the original stills. These have been “painstakingly” replicated in shape using blueprints salvaged from the Rosebank archives.

The distillery's original mill, thought to be around 103 years old, has been retained and continues to be used in the production of Rosebank’s whisky as it did more than 30 years ago. A new dunnage style warehouse has been built from the bricks of its historic counterpart, which now showcases casks of the original Rosebank alongside the first casks of the new Rosebank spirit. The landmark 108-foot chimney stack has also been repaired and continues to dominate the Falkirk skyline.

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The distillery incorporates a new visitor experience for guests, an “impressive and spacious interior” which includes six tasting rooms. Three distinct tours, Rosebank Reawakening, Rosebank Rekindled and Rosebank Revered, will be offered to guide visitors from the original mill to the three pot stills where the spirit is triple-distilled and condensed in traditional wooden worm tubs, in keeping with tradition. Visitors will be able to to “nose” the new-make Rosebank spirit, while two of the tours include a tailored tutored tasting of some extremely rare old Rosebank whisky.

There is also a new distillery shop selling exclusive Rosebank expressions, such as single casks, global releases and distillery exclusives.

Malcolm Rennie, distillery manager at Rosebank, said: “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. 

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“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.” 

News of Rosebank opening its doors to the public comes after Diageo last week re-opened the famous Port Ellen Distillery on Islay 40 years after it was put into mothballs.