Following on from the successful introduction of the Classic Malts range in 1988 (at the time only six expressions), United Distillers sought to build on this by releasing a further 22 single malts in 1991. These became affectionately known as the Flora & Fauna series, a term coined by whisky writer, Michael Jackson, in reference to their labels. The range showcased the lesser-seen distilleries from the company’s extensive portfolio at the time, with the intent of using collective branding to help them raise each other’s profiles. Despite four further additions in 2001, only a handful of these are still permanent distillery bottlings, making it a highly collectible series.
Rosebank is a much-sought after Lowland single malt. The distillery was initially shortlisted by United Distillers for their Lowland representative in the Classic Malts series when it was launched in 1988, but was substituted in favour of Glenkinchie on the belief that it provided better opportunities for tourism. Rosebank was then shut down in 1993, but has recently been acquired by Ian Macleod Distillers, who have a view to resurrecting this classic lost distillery in the near future.
This release was a repackaging of the already circulated 12 year old age-statement, despite the 8 year old was preferred by DCL for their Ascot Malt Cellar range in 1982. This was the spiritual predecessor to the Classic Malts range, Rosebank's omission from which was the end of its unique single malt brand. This brief return under the Flora & Fauna banner were the last distillery bottlings before its closure.