Malt of the Month: November 2015
We choose our Malt of the Month to highlight some of the great whiskies of the world. Some are well known, some less so, but you can be certain that if it's our Malt of the Month, then you won't be disappointed. This month we've chosen:
Glenkinchie 199020 Year OldLowland Single Malt Scotch Whisky Please wait Web Exclusive Price
The Lowlands of Scotland was once full of distillers, but these days only a handful of stalwarts and a scattering of new producers can be found. One that has remained is Glenkinchie, and the 1990 vintage, part of owner Diageo's yearly Special Releases collection, is one of the best whiskies from the distillery that we've tried in years.
With a punchy cask strength of 55.1% ABV, this whisky benefits from a drop of water and opens up into a fruity and zesty dram, with tropical fruit, a touch of citrus and lashings of honey and vanilla. A hidden gem.
By Stuart Peskett
- Nose: Sumptuous honeyed fruit – peaches and melons – plus floral and grassy-meadow touches, then a big hit of cloves and black pepper, with a touch of vanilla.
- Palate: So spicy! Szechuan pepper and clove, along with rich dried fruit, plus refreshing melon and fig notes. Too much water ruins this dram; a couple of drops is ideal.
- Finish: Warming, with the spicy fruit lingering.
- Comment: If you think Lowland whiskies are all gentle, grassy drams, think again. This is an intense single malt, with bags of fruit and spice with concentrated flavours.
A distillery was founded on the site of Glenkinchie in 1825, but went by the name of Milton in its early days. The first written reference to the current name is on the licensing documents in 1837. This incarnation didn't last long, and the buildings became a sawmill. In 1890 the Glenkinchie Distillery Company was founded and spent the next few years rebuilding, and the distillery has been in operation ever since, including during the Second World War, one of the few distilleries allowed to do so.
The only Lowland distillery in Diageo’s malt portfolio, and one of two veteran distillers still operating in the region. Situated near Edinburgh, they receive thousands of visitors a year and are a first single malt for many whisky enthusiasts. With new distilleries opening in the region, bringing the limelight back to the Lowlands, Glenkinchie is yet again receiving the attention it deserves.