Glenkinchie Distillers Edition 1991 – Sumptuous Integration

Glenkjnchi 1991This is only the second Lowland whiskey I’ve drunk, the first being the Auchentoshan Three Wood I reviewed a few days ago here in Maltfreak.

Neither the Auchentoshan nor this Glenkinchie (distilled 1991, bottled 2005, release G/279-7-D) was as light, thin and flowery as I expected from reading pro whiskey reviewers’ descriptions of the Lowland style (the only whisky I’ve drunk that meets those criteria, more or less, is the Glenmorangie 10 year old Original from the Highlands, which is wonderful with roast chicken and brown rice).

The Auchentoshan Three Wood had a more robust palate than I expected and this Glenkinchie does, too. In the end, I had the impression that the Auchentoshan wasn’t quite finished, but in parts had been overdone, or rather that the resulting whiskey in my glass was not exactly the intended result the distillers were after – there was just too much of a confectionary sweetness to it. Not bad whisky, far from it, but nothing I would go back to very often when there are still hundreds of great whiskeys out there beckoning my nose and tongue to turn in their direction…

This Glenkinchie DE, however, is rich, sophisticated and wonderful.

And the color of liquid amber.

The nose is opulent as can be with white raisons, dried apricots and honeydew melon all driven by sails filled with a sherry breeze and floating around in a not-too-sweet fruit cocktail sugar syrup with just the slightest hints of vanilla and a dry almond nuttiness and, way, way off in the background, the slightest waftings of hot mustard and oak.

Yup, it’s all there and it all works together wonderfully. This is a whiskey of sumptuous integration and high style.

The palate is more potent than it’s 43% would suggest, and is dominated by tingling, salty spice under the fruit cake and syrup; on the second wave I notice a slightly dry and nutty maltiness that diminishes to reveal cocoa powder despite a nice creamy feel on the tongue.

I would love to taste this mellowed by a couple more years in oak, at 16 or 18 years of age.

The finish is fairly long, slightly sweet, nutty, warm and soothing.

This was quite a surprise, though I’m not sure why. A wonderful whiskey!

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