Roseisle 12 (Diageo Special Release 2023)

Today we’re looking at the first release from Diageo owned distillery Roseisle. If you’re unaware, here are some “geeky” details about the distillery...

Roseisle Distillery, located in Speyside, Scotland, began its operations in 2010. Covering an expansive 3,000 square metres, it is the largest-ever distillery constructed and was established with a £40 million investment. Roseisle runs with seven pairs of stills, with six of them having the capability to switch between stainless steel and traditional copper shell and tube condensers.

The distillery follows a minimum fermentation time of 75 hours, and can produce varied spirit styles by adjusting fermentation duration, distillation pace, and choice of condenser. The malt used for production, which is non-peated, is primarily sourced in-house. The distillery uses two Lauter mash tuns and steam as its heat source, with water supplied from a borehole.

Despite its scale, its production capacity stands at 10 million litres annually, which is less than that of Glenfiddich. Diageo initiated Roseisle as part of its £1bn investment plan to amplify capacity across its properties.

Anyway, how does it taste?

Roseisle 12 (Diageo Special Release 2023)

Region: Speyside

ABV: 56.5%

Price: £120.00

Not a lot of details on this one other than the fact we know it was matured in a mixture of first fill and refill bourbon casks.


The nose opens with custard cream biscuits, kirsch, pear skins, fresh peaches and light maple notes. It’s not peppery, just there’s something that’s a little spiritous on the nose that we find a touch spicy. It’s relatively mellow overall, and after some time we’re finding lemon scented icing sugar, stewed apples and a little caramel as we get our noses deeper into the glass. Of course there’s the typical bourbon notes of vanilla, alongside more light and floral aromas. Relatively simple, although quite pleasant.


The palate starts off a little fizzy, pear brandy, almond, stroopwaffles, it becomes richer as the palate develops. We’re also finding honeycomb, toffee and a bit of fudge. Lots of upfront fruit that disappears quickly, moving into more spice, cinnamon, dry oak and lemon pepper seasoning. It’s quite a bold there’s a lot of flavour appearing, but the finish dissipates too quickly. The mouthfeel has some texture to it, but we’re left wanting a bit more creaminess to back up the richer flavours we’re finding. We can feel the warmth of the alcohol as we continue to sip, however it’s not overpowering.

Nose (with water)

The reduced nose brings out more of the grassiness, alongside lots of the pear we detected before. It’s oakier, cinnamon, little bit of freshly grated nutmeg too. Some of the upfront sweetness has gone and has been replaced by a more musty, funky aroma. For us the nose doesn’t benefit much from the addition of water.

Palate (with water)

The reduced palate still retains a lot of the upfront fresh, sweeter notes, appetiser, moving into more toasted oak, warm caramel and honey. Some of the spice has mellowed, but we’re finding more bitterness on the finish. The mouthfeel and finish remain largely unchanged. We’d probably skip water here.


This is really quite pleasant. It’s not particularly groundbreaking, however it’s a dram we’d happily sit with and sip at over the course of an evening. It’s quite fresh, would be a great summer sipper. For a first release it’s a strong showing, and we’d be interested to see what else the distillery can put out. We’re left wondering what the defining characteristic of the distillery is, but hopefully we’ll find that out in due course.

Score: 7/10


Unfortunately, like most Diageo releases this is priced far higher than it should be.

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  • 10 - Perfection. One in a million
  • 9 - Outstanding. Exceptional whisky.
  • 8 - Great. Would seek this out.
  • 7 - Good. Quality whisky.
  • 6 - Above average. Happy to have a dram.
  • 5 - Average. Drinkable whisky.
  • 4 - Below average. Passable.
  • 3 - Flawed. Noticeable negatives.
  • 2 - Defective. Significant faults.
  • 1 - Offensive. Pour it out.

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