Review: Glenkinchie 12


Long time no see. Sorry that it’s taken me two and a half months to write another blog. We just bought a house and that apparently takes up your life. I’m not complaining though. I’ve heard it’s bad etiquette to apologise for not blogging…. (although I’ve already done that), so I will just pick up where I left off.


Last year, I ended up spending a weekend in Edinburgh just after New Year. We were visiting a friend up in Durham, so I somehow persuaded my wife that Edinburgh was right next-door. We had a great time doing all the standard tourist bits and bobs, and of course sampling a fair share of different whiskies. Glenkinchie 12 happened to be my first dram on that trip.

I remember popping down just before dinner, and I found myself in the hotel bar. Needless to say that if an Edinburgh hotel doesn’t have a good stock of whiskies, it has let itself down a bit. I wanted something light and fresh on the palate and I had remembered a past review of the kinchie mentioning that….so I gave it a whirl. On first taste I’ll admit to being a tad disappointed. Was it a bad whisky? No, not at all. It had the clean zesty palate that I had hoped for, and a relatively good finish. I just found it to be lacking in something…. And that was character.

It was quickly forgotten as the rest of the weekend I tasted some pretty nifty malts, including Kilchomen Machir Bay, 1989 Caol Ila and Ardbeg Day. However, the Glenkinchie wouldn’t stay down and I ended up choosing it as the Lowland whisky for Guildford Whisky Societies regions tasting. Maybe I gave it more time in the glass, or maybe I was less critical, but I realised that this Glenkinchie isn’t a half bad whisky. These were my tasting notes during the society tasting.


Nose: I’ve never been the greatest fan of this nose, but I’m finding myself slowly warming to it. My initial thoughts were always “For 43%, it is relatively intense, spirity, yet incredibly fragrant”. Similar to other Lowlands, it is light, fresh and sweetly floral. I pick up cereal notes along with summery fruitiness… even some cut grass and lovely honey jumps in right at the end.


Palate: Far more clean and lighter than the nose would suggest. Huge mounds of fruit smash the tongue, especially apples with some citrus in there too. Floral, sweet, barley and malt (am I sensing some beer notes?!) The grass I picked up on the nose becomes even more present now. Some sly woody notes after some time. This is all held together with a real clean freshness.


Finish: Very rounded, fresh & clean, but a quick finish to this one, no real hanging around. What it does leave you with though is some cereal and malty notes. Relatively smooth, leaving a slight dryness. It’s most noticeable quality…. it leaves your whole mouth incredibly clean! Run out of Listerine? Grab the Glenkinchie 12!


This won’t blow you away but is without a doubt a solid Lowland whisky. I have had very little experience of Auchentochan and Bladnoch (I will rectify that soon); so don’t have too much to compare it with. It’s a grower though, and one that given a bit of time will show you some nice qualities. I hear the distillery only bottling is quite good too. With its light floral notes, I’m not sure how much I’ll be visiting this over the winter though…. *I hear Islay calling*



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