Rosebank Distillery Sets Grand Opening Date After Renovations

Rosebank Distillery
Rosebank Distillery

Rosebank Distillery, known as the ‘King of the Lowlands’ and a brand within the Ian Macleod Distillers portfolio, is set to open its doors to the public on Friday June 7. Closed three decades ago in 1993, this much-loved distillery is now back in business following a meticulous four-year restoration project. 

Blending modern architecture with some of the original distillery building, the new Rosebank site beautifully honors the building’s heritage, the company states. The distillery’s Victorian red brickwork faces the Forth and Clyde canal, while a new glass-fronted stillroom is visible from the front of the building, where visitors will find exact copies of the original stills replicated in shape using blueprints salvaged from the Rosebank archives.

Restoring Rosebank Distillery

According to Katie Burns, assistant brand manager of Rosebank, restoring a distillery is never a simple task. In the case of Rosebank, the challenge was particularly intricate due to the site shape, size and the fact much of it had been demolished.

“We did want to retain as much as possible, including the incredible chimney and the two remarkable canal-side buildings formerly housing the maltings and warehouses,” Burns explains. “The key aspect for Ian Macleod Distillers, while introducing a new distillation building, was to retain the combination of the old site and history of the distillery. Despite the significant changes, the business made sure to hold onto the essence of what made Rosebank an iconic single malt – maintaining its key facets throughout the renovation process.”

Image credit: Rosebank Distillery.

Keeping Some History Intact

Burns says it was extremely important to keep some parts of the old distillery in with the new renovations. 

The original mill, thought to be around 103 years old, now contains a new dunnage style warehouse built from the bricks of its historic counterpart. It also showcases precious casks of the original Rosebank alongside the first casks of the new Rosebank spirit, the company states. 


One of the more confusing features of the old distillery was the fact that there was no flow or any real understanding of why the production areas were in slightly odd locations, according to Burns. This is where modern architecture came into play. 

“We wanted to use modern architecture to show the flow through the production from milling all the way through to distillation. The blend of old and new is always visible so the visitor will see this as they go round the distillery,” she says. 

The landmark 108ft chimney stack has also been repaired and continues to dominate Falkirk’s skyline. “The restoration of the iconic canal-side buildings and chimney meant incorporating materials salvaged from the demolition into the construction of the new distillery,” notes Burns. “Given the global love for this single malt and the local support we have had from the Falkirk community, it felt extremely important to ensure the new spirit was a tribute to the past.”

Difficulties with Rosebank Restoration

As Burns mentioned earlier, restoring a distillery is never a simple task. Especially since Rosebank had been silent for 25 years, there were a few challenges that meant the build took longer than expected. 

“The global pandemic right in the middle of the build lengthened the project somewhat,” explains Burns. “Ultimately, the extra time meant even more consideration was given to ensure we got the correct outcome, which is critical for a distillery of this standing in the industry.”

When bringing back a distillery like Rosebank, this milestone should certainly be celebrated — and that’s exactly what Burns and her team are planning on doing. 

“This has been a big project for Ian MacLeod Distillers and we want to share that with the local community who have been so supportive, key partners, clients and of course local and international media,” says Burns. “The best part will be to see the visitors exploring the new distillery and its facilities, enjoying the combination of old and new and tasting some fine whisky.”


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