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






42.6% a.b.v


Light gold


Fresh fruit, wood, vanilla


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


Sweet, barley sugar, Pineapple,


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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photo credits

– authors own.

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