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Review: Glenkinchie 1991 Distillers Edition

18 Sep

Bottling: Distillery
Age Statement: 13-year
Brand type: Distiller’s Edition Double Matured in Amantillado Sherry Cask
ABV: 43%
Price: $70-90
Where Scotchfinder found it: Mad Rose Tavern
Glenkinchie 1991 Double Matured Distiller’s Edition

Glenkinchie is one of two lowland brands of single-malt scottish whiskies left in current production. The other is Auchentoshan. Glenkinchie is not known for going beyond their normally 12-year staple, so this one raises an eye-brow immediately. Lowlands tend to be very light in nature but very delicate and enjoyable as well.

Awkwardly sitting at the Mad Rose Tavern with my phone in hand to record review notes, I got to reviewing another odd-ball release that my expectations were very low going into it.

Nose: 23
Distinctly fruity with a hint of burning alcohol. I thought I was being overly sensitive, but two friends of mine brought the strong alcohol vapors into the discussion upon their sample as well.  Backing off and sniffing slowly, cherry wine and coconut pop out. Highly aromatic and pleasing to the nostrils! Very nice.

Body and taste: 23 and 21
Glenkinchie is notably soooooo normal. This is NOT. The body is medium oily and quite rich. Heavy sherry wine lays on the tongue and roof of the mouth with a lovely complexity. And…

Finish: 23
… sticks around after dinner for coffee. There really is not much competition from other Lowland whiskies in turns of the sticking-around factor. Light maple syrup hints shows up if you have the patience to listen for it long enough between sips. This was the most unexpected part of the experience!

This one really blew my mind and hit the spot tonight. To be honest, however, my expectations were quite low going in. Touché, Glenkinchie. Touché. I would be running to the store to snap up this bottling if my wife would not throw me in the dog house after last week’s shipment.

Scotchfinder Total: 90


Our first scotch tasting event!

4 Aug

On a balmy Sunday evening, we called to order our very first Single-Malt Scotch Whisky tasting held at Mark R.’s residence in Alexandria, VA. Guests in attendance? Mark R., Scotch F., Travis B., Matthew G., Sam L., and Andrew W.

The drinks on the menu were tasted as follows:

  1. Glenkinchie 12-year (Lowland)
  2. Dalwhinnie 15-year (Highland)
  3. Highland Park 18-year (Orkney)
  4. Talisker 10-year (Skye)
  5. Lagavulin 16-year (Islay)
  6. Balvenie 15-year single barrel (extra credit) (Highland – Speyside)

Mark R. was also gracious enough to prepare some excellent heavy appetizers:

  1. Reuben dip (get recipe here)
  2. Smoked salmon paté
  3. Crab dip
  4. Hummos

All were excellent and paired with each of the whiskies wonderfully. The smoked salmon in particular went with the smokier Talisker and Lagavulin.

Each guest was given a bottle of filtered water (see neat/water/ice discussion) to prepare their serving to their personal taste. We started with the gentler lowlands and worked our way through the highland and Orkney selections before hitting the palate smacking Islay malts. From the selections we chose, here is a chart showing how people rated each one (click graph to enlarge):

I was extremely interested in how each person reacted to each one and how different people’s tastes can be. Everyone found something that they really enjoyed where almost everyone really enjoyed the Talisker 10-year fairly evenly in comparison to the other malts. Lagavulin 16-year is always a strikingly powerful smokey Islay malt. My wife says it smells like a campfire and I could not agree more. Delicious.

My favorite comment of the evening came from Travis B. regarding my absolute favorite scotch whisky to date, Highland Park 18-year. “So what do you think, Travis?”

“It is terrible.”


“Yes. It takes like crap in a glass.”

Awesome. His comment is warming. A bear hug.

My Current Stock 7/29/2009 & The Rusty Nail

29 Jul

You can never have too many single-malts in your bar (says the person who writes for a blog called “Scotch Finder)!” Here is a picture of my current stash:

Ardbeg – 10-year
Ardbeg – Uigeadail
Balvenie – Single Barrel – 15-year
Bowmore – Legend
Caol Ila – 18-year
Dalwhinnie – 15-year
Glenkinchie – 12-year
Glenmorangie – Extra Rare – 18-year
Highland Park – 18-year
Isle of Jura – Superstition
Lagavulin – 16-year
Springbank – 15-year
Talisker – 10-year

Yum! Yum! Yum!

I have a few blended scotches (not pictured) that I keep on hand for mixed drinks right beside my trusty bottle of Drambuie. My favorite scotch mixed drink is a Rusty Nail:

1 1/2 oz Scotch
3/4 oz Drambuie
Garnish with citrus wedge or twist

The flavor is extremely sweet and tastes quite similar to a scotch/Yeager/triple sec mix. Make sure you put it on lots of ice.

Rusty Nails are a very classic drink and not for the faint of heart–you will notice by the recipe that the drink is basically straight liquor. More than once I have been accused of drinking an “old man” drink when I make it. I recommend using a low-end blend (Dewars or Black/Red Johnnie Walker) and not damaging the integrity of a fine single-malt. I compare putting a fine single-malt in a cocktail like putting rare tequila into a margarita…

…what’s the point?