Glenkinchie 12 Year

glenkinchie-12Located only a short distance from Edinburgh in the peaceful farmlands of East Lothian, Glenkinchie is one of the few Lowland distilleries left operating in Scotland. Known as “The Edinburgh Malt,” the distillery first opened in 1837, closed for a time, then reopened under new ownership at the end of the 19th century and has remained in production ever since. Not a large producer of single malts, there are currently only two offerings: this 12 year and a Distiller’s Edition, which ages an additional two years in Amontillado sherry casks. Thankfully, under ownership of the Diageo conglomerate, they remain in relative constant supply.

Distillery: Glenkinchie
Region: Lowland
Age: 12 year
Strength: 46%
Price: $54.99
Location: Pencaitland
Nose: Caramel, orange, citrus, honey, lemon, mint, herbal
Palate: Grain, toast, peat, smoke
Finish: Honey, malt, smoke

Comments: Water is not needed. Don’t disturb the delicate flower.

Adam – This scotch reminds me of a late spring or early summer day from my youth in the forests of Vermont, along the shores of Lake Champlain. There’s a sense of light pine and birch and maple, the leaves and a fresh breeze off the lake among the moss. There is frost-tipped warmth and fruit only just beginning to ripen. After less than enthusiastic impressions from some Auchentoshen NAS offerings, my opinion of Lowland malts wasn’t the highest. This, though, this scotch doesn’t have a taste profile, it has a taste topography. There is still a flavorful lightness that doesn’t weigh you down at any point but this is a richer and complex tasting experience than I was expecting. The light freshness balanced with the engaging tastes and oily mouth-feel make for a wondrous experience.

Jenny – Feels springy to me. I get a little bit of floral notes, which reminds me of spring. On the nose, I’m getting a medicinal and briny aspect. This is more interesting to me now that I’ve eaten some crackers and cheese. It felt light and not very complex to me but with a nice warmth, lingering and went all the way down to my stomach, which I like especially now in winter. But now that I’m eating, it tastes more complex. It’s a little spicy. I like it. 

“This scotch doesn’t have a taste profile, it has a taste topography.

Meghan – A nice mellow scotch. There is a bright apple citrus taste that balances with the grainy base of the whisky. There is a spruce note on the nose which is a pleasant change from the standard vanilla and burnt sugar that many non-smokey or non-peaty scotches have. It is a very drinkable scotch. The finish is nice and warm with a subtle sense of lingering. It makes a great bottle to have on hand as a regular bar staple. 

Michael –  A fall-ish scotch, a lot of fall flavors for me. Spiced apple, a little bit of sugar. Its has a nice lingering warmth to it. I”m not able to get much on the nose at the moment. It doesn’t match what I’m tasting. 

Mary-Fred – It’s so light. I would buy this one for my private stock. It’s one I would be very happy to have. It has a complexity simpler malts don’t but is still light and still smooth.

Henry – I first tried this dram in 2010, and was not impressed. Either my palate has improved since then, or the whisky has changed for the better. On the nose, green apple and light floral with a gentle hint of smoke. In the mouth, the peat is deep, layered, and interesting from start to finish, which does not rush and lingers like a good friend. It’s just the right amount of peating for a summer whisky, neither flimsy not overbearing. Not the most elegant dram I’ve ever had, but nicely balanced and pleasing nonetheless.