Glenkinchie 12yo (43%, OB, American Oak, Circa 2010)

Glenkinchie can be good, but despite the efforts of the proud people working there, Glenkinchie will always be known as the distillery that Diageo saved by adding it in the Classic Malts range and thereby closing Rosebank.

Earlier I reviewed a Single Cask Glenkinchie bottled by Signatory Vintage and that was pretty good! This time around let’s see how the entry-level 12yo bottled by the owners will do. This 12yo replaces the 10yo that was available earlier.

Color: Gold.

Nose: Malty and quite big. Should that be surprising for a Lowlander? Guess not, since the Glenkinchie mentioned above was quite big too. Cardboard and vanilla ice-cream. It may be simple, but it smells quite nice. Sour spices. A strange kind of sawdust vanilla. Also some thick sugary yellow fruit sensation. Passion fruit. Weak peppermint candy and a slight hint of plastic.

Taste: Sweet wood and a hint of urine. Beer and wood. A drop of liquorice water on cardboard. The beer is there in the finish too. Not a very strong finish. A bit anonymous actually and very simple and subdued. Luckily the initial taste is good.

Hmmm I wouldn’t choose this as my daily drinker, but it does show you what Glenkinchie can be. It does have potential, but it barely shows itself in this one. It’s decent and dirt cheap, but it’s a silent partner, it doesn’t say much (to me). There was also a Cask Strength version made for the Friends of the Classic Malts and that one was very good. One problem only. That version is four times the price of this Glenkinchie, and that’s a bit of a shame really.

Points: 83

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Glenkinchie 21yo 1987/2009 (56.6%, Signatory Vintage, Hogshead #2837, 147 bottles)

Glenkinchie, a rarely seen Lowland distillery within the ranges of independent bottlers. Founded in 1837, Glenkinchie is foremost known for the closure of Rosebank. When Diageo set up their range of classic malts they chose Glenkinchie over Rosebank. As you might know, Rosebank is known to have a huge following, so this decision wasn’t welcomed at all. Now Rosebank is no more, we’ll have to see if this Glenkinchie is worth your money. Instead of a regular Diageo bottling, let’s try an independent one.

Color: Gold

Nose: From a distance it already smells smoky. Close by, its not that smoky and the smoke dissipates very quickly. Syrupy, estery and announces a big bold body. Pineapple on syrup. Ever so slight hints of oak, toast, salty lemongrass and mocha. Very elegant and balanced. Nice.

Taste: Sweet and big bodied Lowlander. Again some smoke and a nice sourness from the wood that’s nicely counterparted by the initial sweetness. This also has some pepper and licorice. Yet it all balances out in a nice meaty, coffee like and dry finish. Also lightly roasted nuts and caramel in the finish.

To be frank, I’m a bit surprised by this Glenkinchie. I didn’t expect this to be so…ehhh good. I expected this much lighter, but its bold and the coffee and pepper are a great addition to what was already very nice. Yes there is some coffee in the middle part and in the finish and I read somewhere that the regular 12yo does well with coffee, worth to check this out. Brilliant Glenkinchie.

Points: 88