Located 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.
Like many distilleries, Glenglassaugh has seen its share of rough times. While operating almost continuously from 1875 until 1986, the distillery sat dormant until 2008, when it began production before being bought by BenRiach in 2013. Since the newest iteration hasn’t been around for very long at all, the current range is a mix of young No Age Statement offerings along with a few very old age statement whiskies laid down before it shuttered in the 80’s. Torfa is the Old Norse word for “peat,” so guess what hallowed element is used in the production of this dram? Despite being young, this scotch is no slouch, having placed silver at the International Wine & Spirit Competition in both 2014 and 2015.
Compass Box was founded in 2000 by John Glaser, a former employee of Johnnie Walker (and native Minnesotan). While Compass Box is not a distillery, it does produce and bottle scotch. Noted for their blends and pushing the buttons of the Scotch Whisky Association, Compass Box has also taken home a variety of awards from whisky competitions. The Great King Street series a purposeful look back, seeking to recreate the kind of scotch favored in the 19th century. Citizens of Glasgow in particular favored full-bodied and bold flavored malts according to records, hence the name.