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Glenkinchie is one of only three distilleries still producing single malt in the Lowlands of Scotland. Located just 15 miles south of the Scottish capital, Edinburgh, Glenkinchie has just two operating stills, one of which is still the largest in Scotland. The large copper stills’ influence on the whisky removes the overly fruity flavour when it is in the cask. This produces a very light, fragrant but florally malt, similar to characteristics of a good medium coffee from Ethiopia. The 12-year-old is the flagship malt and with the 14-year-old Distillers Edition, are the only two malts in production. This is one malt that a little drop of water can help lengthen the finish. If the first ‘sip’ doesn’t settle those fraught nerves, Glenkinchie is light enough that a second one is quick to follow.
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Light and fruity, with hints of barley malt, fresh cut grass and an underlying thread of lemon meringue pie, manuka honey and cocoa. There is a slight creaminess with a tinge of peat.
The fruity nose gives way to spice, ginger root, slight sootiness and cocoa. Flavours of malted barley, oak, lemon and pepper follow. The high alcohol content (43%) comes through at the end with a slight “burn”.
The spice and pepper give way to a dry, semi-sweet dessert wine with lemon and a slightly bitter graininess. With water the finish loses its graininess and extends the lemon with notes of honey.