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Once sadly overlooked, the Lowland region is back in action, with a wealth of new distilleries having been constructed and opened in the last few years. Glenkinchie is one of the originals that have kept the faith – dating all the way back to 1837.
Rather counter-intuitively, despite having few single malt distilleries, the Lowlands produce more whisky than any other region in Scotland, thanks to their handful grain whisky distilleries that create spirit in enormous volume. This is the land of the blend, and with Edinburgh and Glasgow also found in the Lowland region, you'll discover many of Scotch whisky's leading blenders here.
Lowland malt whiskies are renown for being lighter and more floral than their counterparts in the Highlands and Islands, garnering them the perhaps dubious title "The Lowland Ladies". At Glenkinchie, long ferments, clear wort and huge stills create this lightness, though cold-water wormtubs add a little depth and weight.
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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.