Time To Get Naked!

Taste Review #33 – Naked Grouse

The review that I said I’d never do. I never thought I’d review Famous Grouse. And technically I’m not – this is Naked Grouse, a blended whisky with no age statement. While I always try to bring you information about quality, I’ve never associated Famous Grouse with quality. That’s not to say I feel that it’s a bad dram although I mostly use it for hot toddies. Plus, it beats Bells hands down and it remains a very popular drink.

However, a discussion on what whiskies I liked whilst at the Ballindalloch Distillery with Davie, one of the operators with a long history at Macallan, resulted in him telling me that given the whiskies I liked, if I didn’t like Naked Grouse, he’d give me cost of my bottle back.

Challenge accepted!

The main difference between Famous Grouse and Naked Grouse is that this spirit has been finished in first fill sherry casks, to impart that wee bit of sweet influence. And of course it adds to the colour, which is the reason there is not a label on the front of the bottle, but an embossed Grouse.

My bottle

The Naked Grouse I am sampling today is an older version of the blend, which contains grain spirit, but in 2017 it was re-branded by owners Edrington to be a blended malt whisky, mostly centred around the Glenturret, Macallan and Highland Park malts.

The Dram


Region

Blend

Age

No Age Stated

Strength

40% a.b.v

Colour

Deep Amber

Nose

Smooth, a wee bit oily, cherry, creme brûlée, toasted multigrain bread.

Palate

Like the nose, this was quite smooth, sherry notes, vanilla, toffee, dried fruit – sultanas or raisins.

Finish

I got a medium drying finish, with a light burst of smoke at the end. Light oak and spice too.

Conclusion

Not really what I expected. Yes, there is a faint recall back to the original Famous Grouse; for me, it was a recognisable taste, and had this been a blind taste test, I would have picked Famous Grouse, but wondered why it was different.

This is a lot sweeter than the original Famous Grouse blend to my palate, and I would say this Is more tasty than the original. While maybe not a premium whisky, this is definitely a step up and certainly a blend for the malt drinkers. Since my bottle is pre 2017, I have the older recipe which included a bit of grain spirit, but since 2017, this has changed to be a blended malt. If it is anything like my bottle, then it will be great.

I’ve included a picture of the modern bottle, so you can get a proper idea of the colour. I do suspect that there has been colouring added, but perhaps not. The whole reason of why the bottle has no label at the front is so you can see the colour. I don’t know if I could be so proud of a whisky with E150a in it.

Modern Bottle (thebottleclub.com)

Question is, would I recommend? Whilst I likely won’t buy another bottle, I’m not going to avoid it should I see it in a bar with poor malt selection. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this dram and I have to say I liked my pour. For the price of a retail bottle (£27 in Asda) it’s good value, but I am simply not interested to drink blend on a regular basis.

I paid £21.28 for my bottle at auction, including all the fees. Don’t worry Davie, your wallet is safe!

Slainte Mhath!


This blog is written as a hobby. If you liked this article, consider clicking here to visit my Facebook page or by liking or sharing this article by clicking on icons below.

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Scotty’s Drams encourages responsible drinking. To find out the facts about drink, and where to find help if you need it visit Drinkaware.co.uk by clicking on the link.


photo credits

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Dufftown Double Duel

Taste Review #32 – Mortlach 16 Flora and Fauna vs Pittyvaich 12 Flora and Fauna

Continuing from my tour of Speyside, and once again in the Seven Stills, one of the things I noticed about their whisky is that it had a high proportion of the Flora and Fauna bottlings. As you should now know, I have a soft spot for these bottles. Not all of them are rare, but some are harder than others to get and some are never really seen in a bar.

However, out of the four Flora and Fauna bottles that originated from Dufftown (Glendullan, Dufftown, Mortlach and Pittyvaich), three of them still live on as a distinct distillery range. However, Pittyvaich is a lost distillery, and will eventually become harder to find.

Mortlach distillery was the first legal distillery to open in Dufftown after the 1823 distillery licencing reform, and was the only distillery in Dufftown until Glenfiddich opened. In 1923, the distillery was bought by John Walker and Sons, and from there through various takeovers and mergers came to be owned by Diageo, its current owners. Mortlach has adopted a 2.81 distillation regime, which is similar to that formerly practiced at Benrinnes.

Mortlach Distillery

Pittyvaich, prior to the founding of Kininvie was the youngest distillery in Dufftown, being completed in 1974, alongside Dufftown distillery. It was founded by Arthur Bell to provide spirit for their blends, and in turn and the usual changes of hands, it passed into the ownership of Diageo. Unfortunately, things didn’t end so well for Pittyvaich, and it only produced for 19 years. It later was used to produce Gordons Gin, and as a Diageo training facility until 2003 when the buildings were demolished. Some of the equipment went to Clynelish disiltillery, so a little bit of Pittyvaich survives somewhere.

Pittyvaich Distillery (RCAHMS)

Dufftown is essentially the home of Speyside whisky, with 6 producing distilleries – Glenfiddich, Balvenie, Kininvie, Mortlach, Glendullan and Dufftown. There are two more silent distilleries – Parkmore and Convalmore, both of which have been dismantled and are now used for storage.

There isn’t a lot to do in Dufftown, but there is the Whisky Shop Dufftown in the centre of the village, as well as several bars, restaurants and takeaways. You aren’t far away from the Speyside Cooperage and Macallan Distilleries if you don’t fancy touring Glenfiddich or can’t get a place on the Balvenie tour. There is also the option of nearby GlenAllachie distillery just south of Aberlour.

Onto our business of wetting our thrapple


Region

Speyside

Age

Mortlach 16 years / Pittyvaich 12 years

Strength

Both at 43% a.b.v

Colour

Mortlach – Gold

Pittyvaich– Dark Amber.

Nose

Mortlach – Heavy sherry. Milky caramel, oak, vanilla. Bit of spicy oak.

Pittyvaich – Sherry sweet smoke, sultana, bit of orange peel.

Mortlach. The Beast of Dufftown

Taste

Mortlach – O-M-G. Christmas cake in a bottle. Sherry notes, citrus peel, slight hint of green apple, very rich.

Pittyvaich – wow. Smooth as anything. Nutty vanilla, toffee, raisin, spice

Pittyvaich

Finish

Mortlach Medium sweet, fruit, apples with a short blast of spice.

Pittyvaich – Long and dry, mostly vanilla and creamy caramel. Bit of smoke.

Conclusion

It’s not what you might expect. It certainly wasn’t what I expected. Mortlach has a great reputation, and the Mortlach Flora and Fauna bottling was probably the highest revered out of all of them; certainly the sherried ones. But for me, I’m surprised to tell you that the Pittyvaich for me was much better. It had a good mouth feel, the arrival was so smooth, and wasn’t so spirit led.

Pittyvaich Control (RCAHMS)

Of course, I have no way of knowing how long each bottle has been open, as whisky does degrade very slowly in the bottle due to oxidation. Has this played a part? I can’t tell, as I have no idea what a freshly opened bottle tastes like. What I can tell you is this:-

⁃ both were delicious

⁃ both are chill filtered

⁃ both have E150a colouring

⁃ both bottles are discontinued

⁃ no more Pittyvaich is being made

⁃ There still is a Mortlach 16 made at 43.4%

You might be lucky and find these bottles in your friendly specialist whisky retail shop, but chances are that they have just bought it at auction and are reselling. Prices for Mortlach range from £130 to £160. You might get lucky and get one with a wooden box. Pittyvaich wasn’t such a popular whisky, but pricing is slightly lower, between £100 and £150 on average. Both bottlings initially came with the white cap and will command more money.

There aren’t many independent bottles of Pittyvaich either. A handful from Duncan Taylor, Gordon & Macphail and Douglas Laing, but really the Flora and Fauna release and a couple of special releases are all you will get as official bottles. Grab it while you can to taste it.

1st Edition Mortlach (whiskyhammer.com)

I’d certainly recommend tasting both of these whiskies at some point in your journey. I’m glad I have without having to open my collection.

You can always visit the Seven Stills in Dufftown, as their bottles won’t last forever, and you’ll get a decent feed and service from owners Ros and Patrick.

Slainte Mhath!


This blog is written as a hobby. If you liked this article, consider clicking here to visit my Facebook page or by liking or sharing this article by clicking on icons below.

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Scotty’s Drams encourages responsible drinking. To find out the facts about drink, and where to find help if you need it visit Drinkaware.co.uk by clicking on the link.


photo credits

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Got Nuthin’ But Time….

what to do when things are quiet

Unfortunately for some, life does tend to place obstacles in the way of being able to enjoy a good dram. For me, that major obstacle is my work. As I write this, I’m currently in Kristiansund, Norway getting ready for another phase of an offshore project. This has meant whisky activities have been somewhat curtailed.

That does not mean I have not been busy.

At the moment, there is a handful of online auctions occurring, and if you fancy a 26 year old GlenDronach with a signed box from the most powerful tangerine skinned golf course owner in the world (his day job is running the USA) then perhaps take a look at this page on whiskyauctioneer.com. This might help my reviews improve as I will be able to buy more whisky.

But other than shopping in the online bazaars, what can a whisky enthusiast do to while away those quiet hours with not much to do?

As we are slowly approaching the end of the year, you can maybe consider what whisky goals you have for the next 12 months. This is what I am doing. There is so much to experience in this whisky-world, and now I am coming close to achieving the completion of a major collecting policy, I want to consider more the drinking side of it. I may even consider membership of the SMWS.

In quiet times, there is the space to research about whiskies you want to try, for those of us with limited budgets or those who have more disposable income and want to push the boat out wisely.

I am also looking forward to trying new whiskies, some of which I have had for some time, and would like to share with some of you in some way.

Continuing on the looking forward theme, I’m looking into attending a whisky festival, probably Spirit of Speyside next year if work and family permit. Attending these events can also be tied into a family holiday if your spouse is sympathetic to your hobby. Speyside is a great place to vacation, as long as you can deal with inclement weather.

Of course, you could always recommend my blog and or Facebook page to your whisky drinking friends. Just saying….. 😉

For my last look forward, and plus a look back, I’m thinking of what I can do to move Scotty’s Drams forward a bit. I’m limited in the I.T technologies, and prefer to keep the blog fairly basic, as we then concentrate on the important stuff of whisky. And perhaps whiskey too in the future. There is no shame in my looking back, as I am looking back to all the amazing people and contacts I’ve made since starting my whisky journey, from people in the street, on the train, retailers, fellow bloggers (in particular I really like www.barleymania.com – cheers Tobi, I manage to not to copy but am inspired by your samples!) and also people at work. During this trip offshore, I’ve already spoken to more than one person who has an interest in whisky, and that my readers, is another contact way beyond work.

To paraphrase a couple of quotes and merge into one –

“There are no strangers in whisky. Just friends you haven’t met yet.”

Have you made any new whisky friends or contacts?

And there we will leave it for this week. Sorry for the lack of pictures, but the internet is spectacularly crap here and I thought I’d have a break.

Next week’s review is a double header; not just one whisky but two from the village of Dufftown. I’ll give kudos to those of you who guess which ones.

Slainte Mhath!

Scotty

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photo credits

Nae photos this time 😉

Hard to Put Down

Taste Review #31 – SMWS 41.101

This whisky was tasted in mid September whilst I was quickly passing through Glasgow. I only managed two nips at the Bon Accord bar in North Street. I’ve never tasted any SMWS (Scotch Malt Whisky Society) produce before, and with a choice of SMWS available, this was my chance.

The SMWS label their bottles by a code number for the distillery followed by the series number.

The bottle and Dram

Region

Speyside

Age

28 y.o

Strength

49.5% a.b.v

Colour

Mahogany

Nose

Dark fruit, prunes, tobacco, black currant

Palate

Dark Cherry, blackcurrant, caramelised sugar and a small hint of oak.

Finish

Long, pleasing and complex when all of the above components fade with a spicy explosion.

Conclusion

Yes, well, what can I say? Firstly, for those of you who hadn’t taken the time to Google the SMWS distillery codes, I can tell you that this was the produce of the Dailuaine distillery which sits in that wee pocket of three distilleries which I thoroughly approve of. The only real official bottling of Dailuaine at present is the 16 year old Flora and Fauna bottling, which I also like.

This whisky spent 27 years in a bourbon cask, followed by a further year in a first fill Pedro Ximenez cask.

This one was a flavour punch in the chops, and hard to pin down any one flavour. On initial smell, I was reminded of cheese until I realised it was actually tobacco and prunes. At cask strength, it was a bit strong, so had to be tamed with a wee splash of water which did the trick and became much more drinkable.

I would strongly recommend this if you like your whiskies with strong and upfront flavours. Availability is the key here and you’d probably only find this at auction, or from the SMWS. I paid £28 for this dram which given its rarity and the fact it was a 35ml serving wasn’t bad value. Expect to pay around £180 for this at auction. As there was only 258 bottles made, this is on Unicorn Whisky territory, so if you want to try it, buy one if you see it.

Slainte Mhath!


This blog is written as a hobby. If you liked this article, consider clicking here to visit my Facebook page or by liking or sharing this article by clicking on icons below.

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Scotty’s Drams encourages responsible drinking. To find out the facts about drink, and where to find help if you need it visit Drinkaware.co.uk by clicking on the link.


photo credits

photo – authors own

Cross over to the dark side

Taste Review #30 – Octomore 9.1 Dialogos

It’s no real secret that I enjoy two styles of whisky, sweet or smoky. Sometimes I can go as far as saying I like them both together. Yes, sometimes nothing can beat an excellent Speyside whisky, but sometimes I just want more.

One thing I haven’t done yet on Scotty’s Drams is drink a really young whisky for review. You may think that young whisky is rubbish, but that is not necessarily so. Take a look at one of my much earlier articles about the myths of age by clicking here. We all know that NAS whisky is hiding younger produce, so it is a brave move to advertise an age statement of 5 years.

I sense a challenge!

Having said that, Octomore is just a peated Bruichladdich, so there isn’t a lot of risk here, so when I saw it advertised as the worlds peatiest malt, I was in for a piece of that action.

The Dialogos part of the release name is meant to mean – ‘written or spoken conversational exchange between two or more people, and a literary and theatrical form that depicts such an exchange’.

Personally I think it just represents a heap of marketing bollocks.

Bottle and dram

Region

Islay

Age

5 years

Strength

59.1% a.b.v

Colour

Pale Gold

Nose

Smoke. Lots of it. Sweet notes of toffee, vanilla, floral too.

Palate

Smooth. No real problems despite being cask strength. Fudge, smoke, oak wood, nuts.

Finish

Long, maritime finish with a hint of sea salt. Treacle, molasses, peat.

Conclusion

Despite the peatiness of this whisky, coupled with its youth, it was an extremely nice dram, and if I saw a bottle of it at a good price, I would buy without hesitation. If you are a Laphroaig fan, this is for you. Outclasses Ardbeg completely.

Tube and bottle (tyndrum whisky)

This goes to prove my point in a much earlier article on the blog that young age is not a disqualification from being a decent whisky. If this was a much older dram, it might have lost that lightness and just been overpowering.

Bottles of this are available online for around £115, but always check your local friendly whisky retail specialist. My dram cost £10 for 25ml at the Grill Bar in Aberdeen.

Incidentally, it isn’t the worlds most peated Scotch whisky. For the time being that is the Dialogos 10 year old at a 167ppm. The challenge continues.

Slainte Mhath!


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Scotty’s Drams encourages responsible drinking. To find out the facts about drink, and where to find help if you need it visit Drinkaware.co.uk by clicking on the link.


photo credits

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Doing It Yourself

Making whisky at Ballindalloch

Followers of my Facebook page can’t have failed to notice that I’ve recently visited the Ballindalloch Distillery. This is the one distillery that I haven’t got a bottle from in the Speyside Corridor surrounding the A95 ‘Whisky Road’ from Aviemore in Highland to Keith in Morayshire. There is a good reason for that – they haven’t released one, as it is still a young distillery.

I have a small issue in my whisky journey, and unless you are in the distilling trade, it is one you may suffer too – distillery tours are not enough. Regardless of how professional guides are in the major distilleries, most of them just follow a script, and while if you ask a question they can’t answer they’ll find out for you, the best thing to do is cut out the middleman and do it for yourself. Luckily for me, the Ballindalloch Distillery provide an ‘Art of Whisky Making’ experience. The idea behind this was so I could also provide you with much more information, but there is so much to process, it would be impossible to write in a simple blog, and therefore I’ll just use my knowledge gained to enhance any articles I write.

I have been on many distillery tours, and know how whisky is made. No matter what distillery you go to, it all happens in the same general way. I needed to know how the distillery were able to influence the flavour through the fermentation and distillation processes. Ballindalloch is a very special distillery. I watched it grow from a ruined steading to the distillery it is now as I drove between Aberdeen and Kingussie. I saw the stills being lifted in by crane, and I was determined to visit at some point. This came on the 3rd of October this year.

I must say, the visit couldn’t have been any better. I was a wee bit nervous at what to expect, but I needn’t have worried. The biggest thing I was worried about was arriving at 8am!

I was met by the distillery host, Brian Robinson, who gave me a friendly welcome. We sat down in the room where tastings from the McPherson-Grant cellars are taken, and we discuss what I expect to gain from my visit. When I mention it’s detailed knowledge I require, Brian delightfully tells me that the guys will love to pass on their knowledge, and I should ask away!

There are only 4 people involved directly with the distillery; Brian, Colin the manager, plus operators Davie and Ian. All of them took time to show me exactly what was happening and answered all questions enthusiastically.


Empty wash still, steam heating coils showing

Unlike any distillery tour, you get to see the whole lot, warts and all. Also, unlike any tour, the day starts at the stills, and not the mash tun. Firstly, Low wines from the wash still is already in the spirit still, and has been sweating in the spirit still ready to go. This already has heat in it, and is already starting to react with the copper of the stills. This helps define the character of the whisky. The spirit still has a boil ball, which increases the amount of reflux, further purifying the spirit.

While the spirit still is coming up to temperature, the wash still is filled with the liquid from the washbacks. Ballindalloch has 4 washbacks, and have 4 long fermentations and one short. Davie and Ian both explain at different times during the day that long fermentations give a wash that will provide fruity and floral spirit, shorter ones give a more malty, biscuity spirit.


Washbacks

The wash still is charged with 5000 litre of wash, and the clock starts. Within half an hour, flow is observed in the spirit safe. That’s the magic of Ballindalloch – there wasn’t a figure given, but it was done roughly by time. There appears to be no rush at all. Attention is turned to the mash tun now.

Mash tun (Forsyths.com)

Inside the mash tun – rakes at the ready.

“People see the stills as the romantic side of a distillery, but if you don’t get the mashing and fermentation right, you’ll have nothing to distill” says Davie, a man with over 30 years experience at Macallan. And he’s right. The mash tun is filled with sparge water (water from the 3rd rinse in the previous mash) to heat the bottom of the mash tun, and to prevent the grist forming a dough and blocking the mash tun up. Close to 1000kg of grist (milled malted barley) is fed into the mash tun along with sparge, for the first rinse. This is followed by two more rinses at higher temperatures to give a charge of wort for the washback, and sparge water for the next mash.

Agitating the yeast to start fermentation

I’m given a sip of the filtered, undistllled wash, and it catches me by surprise. It actually tastes very much like cider – apple, pear and a wee bit of malt. The dead yeast at the bottom of the wash back is what has created esters which give the fruity taste. By now, the liquid is ready for distillation, having reached an alcoholic strength of 8-9%

All the time, Ian is keeping a eye on the wash still and the spirit still, and explains the principles behind temperature and gravity to work out how much alcohol is produced. While not such a consideration for the low wines out of the wash still, it is important when trying to know when to make the cut from the spirit still.

For those of you who haven’t been to a distillery, knowing where to make the cut is important. The first produce out of the still is the most alcoholic, plenty of volatile compounds, and too strong to use. These are known as the foreshots (or head). Next, around 72% alcohol, we move the spirit safe to divert the still output to the spirit receiver. This portion is known as the heart and when it drops to the acceptable level, the spirit safe then diverts to collect the final portion, the feints. The foreshots and feints gets collected in the feints receiver and are used to charge the spirit still with the low wines for the next spirit distillation.

Wash still (l) spirit still (r)

Tradition is important to Ballindalloch. The vapours from the stills aren’t condensed in a shell and tube condenser, but in a traditional wooden worm tub. This is a large wooden tub with the whisky being fed into a spiral of copper tube some 70 metres long to cool the spirit. Further copper contact also removes more of the sulphuric compounds to produce a lighter spirit. Indeed, a small sip of the new make (or Clearic) is a revelation. Not harsh or gobstoppingly strong, but light, fruity and floral.

Worm tub condenser

It is mind boggling to believe that a 5000 litre wash charge only makes about 600 litres of spirit. This is eventually moved to a vat, where the week’s produce reduced to casking strength of 63.5%. This is put into barrels once a week on a Thursday, therefore I had a go at filling a barrel, and also inking on the distillery logo and markings. There is a small dunnage warehouse on site, with the scales for weighing the barrels before and after they were filled. This is so they know how much liquid is in the cask. The casks used are from the American Bourbon industry so will give a sweet note to the whisky as it matures.

I didn’t spill any. This time at least!

One of the skills I had to master is the timing of the casks. A line is drawn on the floor, and the cask gets rolled to the end of the strip of concrete in the middle of the warehouse. It has to stop with the bung up to prevent leakage. The next cask has to be advanced 20 minutes when it reaches the line, so that by time it rolls against the first cask, the bung will be at the top. By advancing 20 minutes, it means moving the barrel so that when at the line, the bung is at 120 degrees further round than the previous barrel. This guarantees the bung will be in a vertical position. Much to the amusement of Davie, I got it right three times in a row. He reckons it was good judgement. Those who know me will realise it was a fluke!

Any cheek laddie and I’ll ink you!!

Some special casks in dunnage

And so now we have to wait. Nobody could say exactly when bottling is expected, but figures around the 2022 – 2024 were mentioned. I for one cannot wait to taste this whisky, and look forward to the day when the first edition is released.

The day ends with a tasting from one of the casks held by the McPherson-Grant family. I had a 27 year old Cragganmore, and it was outstanding. Relaxing in the tasting room which is made up to resemble a public room in the castle, I took the time to speak to Colin the distillery manager, where he shared some of his experiences in the Scottish Whisky industry.

It was a whole day, but it shot past so quickly and it wasn’t long before Brian was giving me my Art of Whisky Making polo shirt, and it was time to go. It was day for learning, in which my whisky knowledge came on so much. I’ve forgotten a bit of it already as I didn’t want to be too rude in taking notes on my phone all the time. Therefore I think a repeat visit will be needed.

Draff for the Ballindalloch Aberdeen-Angus

There are other whisky experiences like this. Springbank do a residential one for 5 days, and Strathearn used to do similar, and there are other distilleries but these are very high cost. In the case of the Springbank experience it is over £1400 not including transportation. To me, I feel my £175 was money extremely well spent. There is no way in the world I could have learnt and seen so much by just going on a tour. If you want to advance your whisky experience, this is a journey I can recommend.

I can’t wait to go back.

Postscripts – Davie, I bought the Naked Grouse. We’ll soon see if you need to buy my bottle off me!!

Ian, Callum said that once you drink a bottle of 60 year old Ballindalloch, you’re free to throw chuckies at him!

Colin – thanks for the corrections!


This blog is written as a hobby. If you liked this article, consider clicking here to visit my Facebook page or by liking or sharing this article by clicking on icons below.

If you prefer not to use Facebook, follow the WordPress blog by clicking on the link below which will deliver any blog posts to your inbox, including reviews, distillery visits, whisky news and advice.


Scotty’s Drams encourages responsible drinking. To find out the facts about drink, and where to find help if you need it visit Drinkaware.co.uk by clicking on the link.


photo credits

All photos authors own unless otherwise credited.

A wee chip off the Monkeys Shoulder

Taste Review #29 – Kininvie 23 Batch 3

This is the first of the whiskies I had at the Bon Accord Bar in Glasgow. Kininvie as a single malt is very rarely seen, although there has been three batches at 23 year old and a couple at 17 year old. I’ve never seen it as an independent bottling, but there may be one or two out there. This puts it into the edges of Unicorn whisky.

The Kininvie distillery is not really a distillery on its own, but an offshoot of The Balvenie distillery. While it was its own dedicated mash tun and wash backs in the Balvenie distillery, the wash is piped to a remote still house about 200 metres away. Due to the regulations, this separate still house could not be called Balvenie, so is called Kininvie. The distillery started production in 1990, and early releases were known as Hazelwood, which was the home of a descendant of William Grant. The Hazelwood name is to be reused as a line of blended whiskies.

In fact, most of Kininvie’s output is for blending, and it is one of the key components of the Monkey Shoulder blended malt. This I will also be reviewing at a later date.

The Dram and Bottle

Region

Speyside

Age

23

Strength

42.6% a.b.v

Colour

Light gold

Nose

Fresh fruit, wood, vanilla

Palate

Nice spirit buzz on arrival. Tropical fruits, creamy vanilla, Oak.

Finish

Sweet, barley sugar, Pineapple,

Conclusion

Hey hey hey! This is the first Kininvie I have tasted, despite me having the 23 year old from the first 2 batches in storage. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I wasn’t disappointed. Quite a strong arrival, and it needed a bit of water to develop to a point where I could start picking out flavours.

Yes, at 42.6% it still needed water, and this wasn’t on account of spirit strength. It is just a fact of life that some spirits don’t reveal their true nature until a little water is added. It is presented at natural colour and I am guessing it may be chill filtered as I saw no cloudiness appear when I added water, but then again, I added very little and it was at room temp.

Kininvie is bottled in 35CL measures, and given the price tag of around £120 at retail, it doesn’t represent good financial value. I’ve had whisky just as good costing a lot less. However, it is a bit on the rare side, so you might be better off looking at auctions, although some prices can hit the retail price.

I paid £27 for my dram at the Bon Accord bar in Glasgow. Not cheap, but worth it for the experience and another dram ticked off.

Slainte Mhath!


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