Glenkinchie distillery, located 15 miles outside of Edinburgh, is one of only four currently active lowland distillers, producing a whisky that is characteristically light and grassy. This 14 year old variation of Glenkinchie from Diageo’s Distillers Edition line has been finished in an Amontillado cask, a medium dark sherry made famous in a short story by Edgar Allen Poe. The Distillers Edition releases of Lagavulin and Oban, among others, have never failed to impress, leading to this bottle being approached with somewhat high expectations.
Palate: A soft, gentle taste with notes of spun sugar and lemon, light on the alcohol vapors. Slightly grassy and vegetative elements play back and forth with fruitier aspects imbued from the Amontillado cask. The mouthfeel is vaguely soapy, but not to an excessive degree, and just a hint of licorice root comes through after several sips.
Finish: Dry and light, with a lovely sherry roundness and a hint of orange peel. The bottle promises a balance of sweet and dry, which is exactly what it delivers.
Overall: A light, understated dram that requires slightly vigorous aeration to release all of its characteristic notes, the combination of beeswax, grassy, and fruity notes are pleasing and complex. With its relatively low alcohol content (43% abv) and gentle character, adding water is perhaps not recommended as this may drown the subtle flavours. Once again, the Distillers Edition line delivers a substantial improvement upon the general release for only a slight bump in price.