Origin: Lowlands (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing casks: Ex-Bourbon and ex-Sherry
Added coloring: No
Average price: € 390.00
Official website: www.malts.com
It seemed appropriate to conclude this year’s Special Releases tasting the ‘heaviest’ bottle of the bunch, from a distillery that had been missing from the series since 2016, even then with a decidedly significant age (25 years).
In fact, this is the oldest Glenkinchie ever bottled by the distillery, whose elegance and delicacy is compared to ancient Chinese porcelain with which it would share references to the flowers, heather and fruit of the orchards that abounded in those lands and on the vase decorations, hence the name The Floral Treasure.
A tad ambitious, but we may as well give him that.
And fruit and flowers abound in the effluvium that emerges from the glass, a silky, delicate composition in which jasmine, oranges and apple intertwine with cloves and nutmeg, caressed by subtly sweet notes of acacia honey, sugar icing, marzipan and a hint of barleywine. A thread of wax and butter runs through the texture, which on the whole remains rather severe and elegant thanks to hints of Earl Grey. Rich and iridescent, the sweeter side is sometimes powerful, but then regains its austerity as befits a grandmother of noble origins. With a slight dilution, the sweetness acquires more substance.
On the palate, the delicacy is muted in favour of a sharper presence of pepper and ginger and higher tones in the vegetal compartment, flowing decisively into the bitter (aniseed, liquorice). The strength, which was perfectly centred on the nose, doesn’t fail to make itself felt here, and the whole appears more sour and rough, with a crescendo of citrus, kiwi, propolis spray and even a sulphurous aspect, which combined with the vegetal and bitter aspect leads towards artichoke.
The finish is long, dry, with a slight roast on ginger, pepper, citrus, anise, vegetable notes and a drop of honey.
It certainly cannot be said to lack personality, perhaps even too much, at times almost bipolar, but precisely for this reason fascinating and engaging. A non-trivial and challenging dram, which on the palate sins a little in complexity, but shows the capabilities of Lowland whiskies.