Glenkinchie Distiller’s Edition (1990) Review

Glenkinchie Distiller’s Edition110 (1990)

43% abv

Score:  84/100


One of only a small handful of Lowland distilleries still in operation, Glenkinchie is famous for being quite typical of the ‘Lowland profile’: light and floral.  I’m very much in collusion that that is exactly what the distillery hits in terms of its general profile.

So, having said that…why don’t we see what happens when they dunk a big ol’ light and grassy bouquet of floral notes into a rock tumbler of a sweet Amontillado sherry cask for an extra year or two.  (I believe this Distiller’s Edition is actually nothing more than their standard 12 year old, re-racked for two years in sherry butts.  However, being as this is an older edition I’m tasting in this review…it would have been their now-obsolete 10 year old re-racked, not the 12.)

This Distiller’s Edition release is part of Diageo’s double-matured variants on their Classic Malts line-up.  Sort of like the darker, evil twin sibling thing.  In some cases…it works incredibly well.  In others…well…it’s always interesting, at the very least.  Let’s give credit where credit is due though, the big boys are working to give us a bit of variety, and that is definitely not a bad thing.

Glenkinchie has never been my favorite distillery, and is actually sort of the malt arch enemy of one particular mate who went to toe to toe against a bottle of the now-obsolete 10 year old one eve…and lost.  I don’t particularly mind the dram, but I also don’t expect to buying it again anytime soon either. 

The double-matured nomenclature is something I halfheartedly scoff at, by the way.  This is simply a more elgant way of saying ‘finished’.  Semantics, I suppose.  Vatted malt argument, anyone?

Nose:  Quite wine-heavy and perfume-y.  Cinnamon bread dough.  Still light, even beneath the swishing waves of sherry.  Tangy notes of fruit toffee and taffy.  Mix of assorted wine gums.  Some spent mulling spices.   

Palate:  A little tart.  A little too much weight in the ‘finishing’ influence.  Apple.  Quite juicy, but dries up like Sahara sucking up a spilled flask.  Some of those perfume-y notes carry right on through to the palate.  Some over-the-top sharp wood notes.

It’s ok, but not much more.  Not my favorite whisky becomes not my favorite finished whisky.


– Reviewed by:  Curt

– Photo:  Curt

1 thought on “Glenkinchie Distiller’s Edition (1990) Review

  1. Jeff

    The version I tried wasn’t nearly as old (historically) as this one, but I was also disappointed and I like the standard 12 better. This isn’t fully committed to the finish nearly as much as Talisker DE.


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