Origin: Lowlands (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing casks: Ex-Bourbon
Added coloring: Yes
Average price: € 44.00
Official website: www.malts.com
With the closure of Rosebank and Littlemill in 1993 and 1994, the number of distilleries operating in the Lowlands was further reduced: among these are Bladnoch, the most southerly distillery in Scotland, which has recently come out of a serious crisis, Auchentoshan, whose whiskies we have dealt with so far with the review of the 12 year old, and Glenkinchie, located twenty-five kilometres from Edinburgh, near the village of Pentacaitland.
Founded in 1837 by John and George Rate, Glenkinchie, with its two huge stills and ten thousand storage casks, is one of several Diageo-branded distilleries whose Six Classic Malts it joined in 1998, representing the Lowlands (the others are: Dalwhinnie for the Highlands, Cragganmore for Speyside, Talisker for Skye, Oban for the West Highlands and Lagavulin for Islay).
Given the ownership, then, it should come as no surprise that 50% of Glenkinchie’s annual production ends up in Diageo’s various blends, including the Johnnie Walker Red Label and Black Label.
There are only two official bottlings of the core range at the moment: the 12yo under review today and a Distillers Edition (with the same ageing in the more recent versions), finished in former Sherry Amontillado casks.
Glenkinchie 12yo replaced the 10-year-old in 2007 and is clearly the distillery’s base malt. Proposed at 43% ABV, it’s all in all little known and not so easily available, at least in Italy.
In the glass it’s a rather inviting golden colour with honey-coloured reflections.
On the nose, on a base of lemon so soft as to border on illusion, rests a slightly more intense scent of glazed dates, while a hint of ginger tingles the nose. There is, alas, a hint of alcohol.
The palate is absolutely consistent with the nose, with an extra touch of hazelnut. Although it lacks aromatic richness, it is not unpleasant, but is greatly penalised by the absence of any thrust.
The finish is medium-short, without any jolt, on notes of cereals.
Not a bad whisky, but an anaemic one, which doesn’t leave great memories over time.
Those who call it an ‘aperitif’ malt are probably not far from the truth, for better or worse.