Category Archives: Glenkinchie

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

Glenkinchie 10 y.o. Review

Glenkinchie 10 y.o.

43% abv

Score:  83.5/100


Good friend, neighbor and bandmate, Jay, brought this over on a whisky night I threw together for the guys a while back.

Wandering around a local liquor store, with his iPhone as a reference tool, he found a couple of solid reviews for this whisky.  Enough, anyway, to convince him to make the investment.  Well…it ended up being a long night, and by the end of it Jay had gotten pretty deep into this bottle, and unfortunately for him, he hasn’t been able to touch it since.  The last couple ounces are now in my cabinet, sans the dram in my glass which I am working on right now.

Though I was pleasantly surprised that night, I must concede a less than pure palate when I first tasted it.  Not only had I been sipping a myriad of whiskies, I had most recently been enjoying a glass of Laphroaig and a Cojiba.  My tastebuds were already singing loud and long before I even got to this whisky.

It was truly a pleasant surprise to open the bottle this eve and be reminded of why I enjoyed this.  Light, not overly complex, yet smooth and enjoyable.  Good beginner’s whisky.

On the nose it is easy to pick out individual notes.  Something bittersweet like maybe grannysmith apples first.  Some oak, buttery caramel, malt and sweet hay.  A bit grassy and herbal.  Puts me in an autumn frame of mind.

On the palate it arrives with a bit of heat, but quickly mellows into flavors of distant maltiness, oak and prairie grasses.  The sweetness is much more prevalent on the nose than the palate, though you still get a green fruitiness on the tongue.  There is an herbal note, somewhat akin to a good sauvignon blanc, that often defines the Lowland whiskies, which seems uncharacteristically tame in this whisky.

It is a rather thin dram, not much in the way of coat-your-mouth-goodness, with a medium finish.  Last note to fade is a nutty oakiness.

My second impression of this bottle was almost as good as the first.  Nothing I would rave about, but a bottle I would have no problem paying for.  One of the better young Lowland whiskies I’ve met to date.

Final note:  Apparently being a part of Diageo’s enormous stable means only about 10% of Glenkinchie’s production is bottled as single malt.  The other 90% ends up in blends.  A shame really.


– Reviewed by:  Curt

– Photo:  Curt