Saturday, June 19, 2010

Glenkinchie Distiller's Edition - Single Malt Scotch Review

I have had this bottle of Glenkinchie Distiller's Edition (distilled in 1992 and bottled in 2007) for quite a while.  I had been kinda procrastinating the task of reviewing this single malt scotch.  Why?  Just read my review of it's younger sibling, the 12 year old and you will know why.  Not top shelf stuff by any means.  About as pleasant to drink as a trip to the dentist.

So, with great trepidation I opened the box packaging, uncorked the bottle and poured a dram. 

Nose (undiluted)
Sherry and strawberries.  Maybe dark chocolate lurking behind a doorway?

Medium bodied.

Palate (undiluted)
Initially sweet, high quality sherry that gracefully moves to velvety Marashino cherry. The initial sweetness gives way to dry, spicy cinammon sticks.  Nice complexity.

Finish (undiluted)
Cigar & esspresso coffee.  This finish is puckering dry.  The crushed velvet texture of this scotch is memorable.

Add Water?
Yeah, you could amigo.  But why?  A teaspoon to 1 & 1/2 ounces makes it more winey, port like and sweet.  For my palate, I prefer this single malt neat.  The water also takes away complexity of the flavors.  Don't do it!  Just say 'no' to water.

Distiller's Notes
On the back of the packaging is the following marketing blurb:

"A special Limited Edition from hand-selected casks, double matured in elegant Amontadillo cask-wood chosen to compliment the whisky's sophisiticated balance between sweet and dry, this Distiller's Edition reveals a fascinating, complex and malty depth in Glenkinchie's lowalnd character."

Surprisingly, I find myself agreeing with the above passage.  It is certainly sophisticated and there is great balance or what I would call great transition from sweet to dry.  What makes me chuckle when I read the above noted packaging note is the reference to Amontadillo.  I remember studying in high school The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allen Poe.  Amontadillo and Amontillado are the same words for the same fine Spanish sherry that appeared in the aforementioned short story.  In the story, the main character invites a fellow Italian nobleman to his wine cellar, located in catacombs, to taste some fine Amontadillo.  Well, that's just a pretext to exact some disturbing revenge.  I won't ruin the story.  Read it here.

Edgar Allen Poe was a rascal who knew good sherry.  The same good sherry that imparts great flavors in this Glenkinchie Distiller's Edition.

Price Point
Expensive.  No doubt about it.  It tests the limit of value for money, but in the end,  the value is there.  The high price is a testament to how good this single malt is.

What you will not taste in this malt is very much peat.  So, if you are a peat freak, look elsewhere.

This Distiller's Edition is a huge step up from the standard 12 year old bottling.  The two are very different.  The 12 year old is bitter and sour while this Distiller's Edition is refined, beautiful use of sherry flavors and great complexity of cinammon and some chocolate too.

This is so good, I am going to buy another bottle.  Great scotch for special occasions.  Skip the 12 year old and buy this.  Very good, high quality single malt scotch.


Jason Debly

Copyright © Jason Debly, 2009-2010. All rights reserved.


  1. I think this distillery was known for producing a whisky that could be drunk at breakfast, hence its light nature. Not that I'd recommend such a thing.

  2. a bunch of drunks emptied my bottle and I haven't forgiven them yet. they tried buying me the 12 yr old a a replacement and got it dumped back on them