Review: Kininvie Batches 1 (17yo) and 2 (23yo)

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Kininvie – Batches 1 (17yo) and 2 (23yo) reviewed

Let’s talk Kininvie…. Certainly a less well known name, but a single malt scotch whisky I’ve been keen to try for quite some time; I’m chuffed to finally get the opportunity to taste it.

Kininvie is owned by William Grant & Sons, the same folk that own Glenfiddich and Balvenie. All three distilleries are located on the same site in Dufftown, and Kininvie and Balvenie are in fact so close they share quite a bit of production equipment, shared mostly all the way until the stillrooms which are separate. It started producing in 1990, and ended production in 2010. Some of it’s product is used in the blended malt Monkey Shoulder.

William Grant & Sons have now released two bottlings, Batch 1 is a Travel Retail only bottling, and Batch 2 is now available in the UK market, both of which I review below…

89360-bigBatch 1 – 17yo – 42.6%

Colour: Fairly bright light gold.
Nose: A pretty classic Speyside style nose, it’s light, fruity and malty, with some nuts and a hint of spices. There’s enough good quality oak age and ABV reduction that it’s got a smooth and creamy nature on the nose, and I suspect the palate will be the same. A hint of hessian is in the background.
Palate: The arrival isn’t quite as smooth as the nose might lead you to think, the spices and slight hike from base ABV work together to bring a fruity maltiness which washes around your palate well, with a reasonable thickness and a relaxed touch of oak complementing things.
Finish: The great flavours from the palate seem to be amplified on the finish; it’s packed with flavour and it warms your chest nicely lasting for a good while leaving a buttery sweet malty flavour.
Thoughts: I can’t lie, I really like this, it’s a fairly classic profile done excellently.
Available: Travel Retail only… so airports, if you’re lucky. Maybe in auctions.

knvob.1990v2Batch 2 – 23yo – 42.6%

Colour: Full bright gold.
Nose: A little bigger and richer than the 17yo, very much from the same place (so refer to the notes above) but with deeper fruit tones, much more of those Christmas cake kind of flavours with a pinch extra of spices.
Palate: Again the palate is from the same cut as the 17yo, the notes above apply happily, however there is a touch more oomph and depth to this, the fruitiness and spices come together to give it that more autumnal feel.
Finish: The finish is fruity, spiced and deliciously long. Yummy! Great quality stuff, very classy.
Thoughts: A wonderful, buttery, fruity dram. A shame it’s not more widely known, but now it’s been released let’s hope for some more. Is £90+ too expensive for half a bottle of 23yo? I’ll leave you to decide, however it is more accessible than nearly £200 for an equivalent full sized bottle.
Available: The Whisky Exchange – £96.95 (In stock at time of review)

Overall Thoughts: Which is better? Neither’s better than the other really! They both have their charms, their own pros and cons, however for me – and this is unusual as normally it’s the older the better for me – I actually would pick the 17yo; it tickles my fancy perfectly tonight… Trust me to pick the one that’s particularly hard to buy!

Thanks to Kininvie for the samples.

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