Nose: Waxy, sweet; plenty of forward oak, sweet orange, some butterscotch, fudge, spices (clove). Big, powerful alcoholic prickle. Rye bread, some wine-like characteristics. Floral notes eventually fight their way through, along with gingered melon. With water, becomes more biscuity and develops honey notes.
Palate: Big oak surge, then the alcohol - oily with immense hot pepper and spice (clove, chilli seeds). Very full and oily. As the initial alcohol burn dies away, amazing polished malt comes through to spar with the spices. Delicious.
Finish: Lovely unctuous malt continues to envelop the tastebuds. The length is phenomenal. The clove and cracked black peppercorns have the last word.
Comment: Oof! This is a monster (in a good way). The official bumf refers to this as 'ripe and mellow'. You're having a laugh, mate - ripe, perhaps; mellow, er, I think not. Clearly aged Rosebank has a different profile to the old 8yo people raved about. Hats off to whoever selected the casks for this - it emphatically gives the lie to the received wisdom that Rosebank had to be bottled young.