Whisky Reviews

Glenkinchie 12 Year Old


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I’d say it’s about time we have a look at some Lowland whisky, as I have not reviewed many thus far (which is quite natural, of course, what with there only being 3 left in production!). The particular one I have in mind is Glenkinchie 12 year old, yet another Diageo brand.

Founded in 1825, its history is dry and uninteresting, and we will skip right past it. Unfortunately it is not only the history of this whisky that is uninteresting, though. The taste, aroma and just about everything else about it falls under the same category. I suppose that may well be the reason why an overwhelming majority of the whisky produced at the distillery goes on to form a part of various blends.

Don’t get me wrong here, Glenkinchie is by no means a bad whisky – it is simply very, how should I put it.. Average. Even that would be fine if it wasn’t for the fact that it is priced around $46 which places it in the same price range as some much more interesting malts; Laphroaig Quarter Cask and Glenmorangie 10 year old, to name two.

The nose presents a hefty serving of malty sweetness along with flowers, vanilla and honeyed, toasted, cereal. The different aromas do come together nicely, but I can’t help but think something is missing. On the palate you will find more sweetness and malt, a hint of spice and very ripe fruit and the texture is quite creamy. Again, not at all unpleasant, but unfortunately it is just not exciting at all… There is nothing to make you long for the next sip.

Color: A pale gold.

Nose: Light, sweet, barley malt, flowers, honeyed cereal and vanilla.

Taste: Sweet malt, a hint of spice and very ripe fruit. Creamy, but unexciting.

Want to buy this whisky? Available in: USA & World (click)UK & Europe (click)

About Whisky Critic

My name is Martin and I live in Scotland. I love fine things in life, such as gourmet food, travelling around the world and, last but not least, whisky (naturally, I’m partial to a tipple of whiskey or bourbon as well). I have tasted hundreds of whiskies during the recent years and I finally decided to share my experience.

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  1. scotchdrinkerusa99

    June 22, 2010 at 11:17 pm

    I have to disagree completely with this review on several accounts (though I have found several others to be right on the money). This whisky has a much fuller depth and taste than the Glenmorangie 10yr, and is much more enjoyable, both right after the pour and after it has been open to the air for a bit. I am not sure where you are finding this bottle for $46 dollars, but it the States, this bottle and the Distiller’s edition can be had for under $30 (with the Distiller’s edition being even better than the standard 12 yr old – I brought a bottle to a tasting recently and it was gone in under 10 minutes).

  2. martin

    June 23, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    Hi there, thanks for your comment – always good to get a bit of a discussion going! As I mentioned in my review of the Glenmorangie 10, it holds a special place with me and as such I may give it more credit than others would. Thus I wouldn’t agree at all that this is offers a fuller depth than does the Glenmorangie, I just don’t think it has anything to grab your attention or intrigue you.

    Oh and as for the price, it costs about £30 in the UK which is roughly $46 – unfortunately alcohol is rather more expensive here than in the US.

  3. Jason's Scotch Whisky Reviews

    November 11, 2010 at 2:39 am

    Martin, I agree with you. Actually, I would go further and state that this is a very poor single malt. Big disappointment and actually no value for money here.

    Nice to see a whisky review that is not another glowing puff piece that reads like a distiller’s marketing blurb on the back of a bottle!

  4. almond green

    March 17, 2012 at 12:49 am

    I disagree completely. but just out of interest why would you compare it to a glenmorangie? its completely different. it is sweet and smooth but thats expected, its a lowland scotch. maybe you should stick to pinot noirs and cider dip sticks.

  5. peanutaxis

    September 12, 2012 at 3:37 am

    I LOVE glenkinchie. I think the trend these days is ‘fruity’. Everything is fruity, and it’s just damn boring, all whisky houses are trying to make the same thing.
    Glenkinchie is different. It’s got such a plain, barley-grain taste, which I love. Everyone else is trying to cover it up. Why?

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