Glenkinchie is another distillery in Diageo’s rather expansive portfolio that doesn’t receive a lot of love or attention from corporate headquarters. It doesn’t have the hype multiplier of a Lagavulin, nor the cult fanaticism of a Port Ellen. The humble little Lowland operation which, according to my faithful 2020 edition of the Malt Whiskey Yearbook, only produces 2.5 million liters per annum, not a lot when compared to corporate siblings Caol Ila (6.5 million) and Teaninich (10.2 million). There are also not too many expressions offered for sale, aside from the occasional appearance in a special limited series or the higher end 24 year old. Let’s find out where its flagship 12 year old takes us.
The nose is a bit of a curiosity, but not out of line for a Lowland malt: lots of cereal notes and fresh cut grass along with a little bit of oak while resting in the glass. Adding a few drops of water brings out more sweetness: lots of honey roasted almonds and citrus zest. On the palate, there’s a little bit of nutty flavor which gives way to baked green apples and a faint reintroduction of citrus zest towards the end. The finish isn’t too long or intrusive, very soft with more lemon, cereal, and oak. This is not a single malt providing a new or challenging experience for anyone familiar with the lighter flavor profiles of the Lowlands. However, it’s nothing to scoff at or refuse when offered a glass.
B- / $75 [BUY IT NOW FROM THE WHISKY EXCHANGE]