Glenkinchie 10 Years Old

Glenkinchie 10 Years Old (43%, OB, 2006)

  • Category: Lowland single malts scotch whisky
  • Origin: Glenkinchie Distillery
  • Bottling: Diageo
  • ABV: 43% ABV
  • Cost: £discontinued


What they say

Glenkinchie is just fifteen miles from the capital, earning it the title “The Edinburgh Malt”. But it’s strange to think of that dark and distinguished city when you see fields of barley or the green Lammermuir Hills rolling north towards the Firth of Forth. Stranger still when you taste the subtle, floral flavour of this rare Lowland survivor.

A light, aromatic apéritif

Glenkinchie whisky is perfect as an apéritif or at the start of a meal due to its fragrant, light body. Distilled in Scotland’s largest stills and matured for at least 12 years, the result is a floral whisky with a fresh, creamy taste.

The Glenkinchie distillery

Founded in 1825 by the farmers John and George Rate, Glenkinchie operated under the name Milton Distillery until it was licenced and renamed in 1837. The new name came from the Kinchie Burn which runs through the glen, which itself derives its name from “de Quincey” who originally owned the land and burn. It was later rebuilt into a redbrick Victorian masterpiece you’ll see today, complete houses for the workers, bowling green, those two fat old copper pot stills and the largest wash still in the industry. A traditional single cast-iron worm tub cools the spirit, in preference to a more modern condenser, giving a whisky of greater character and depth.

Subtly sophisticated

South and East of Edinburgh lies the farming country of East Lothian, its barley fed by water softly flowing down from the hills. Glenkinchie is the undisputed champion of the light Lowland style. With its interesting visitor centre and charming setting, this also makes an ideal first distillery visit if you find yourself ready for a break from Auld Reekie.

From… /Glenkinchie

What I say

A rare opportunity for sampling of the original Glenkinchie Classic Malts 10 Years Old, released in 1998 and produced up until 2006, before it was superceded by the 12 Years Old in 2007 onwards. Thanks to Gavin and the staff at the Glenkinchie Distillery for generously providing me with a sample of this rarity.

My Tasting notes:

  • Appearance: Bright gold, Soave wine (4/20), quicker medium-large tears leave long fine legs
  • Nose: Sweeter and more straightforward (bearing in mind this has ‘bottle-aged’ for at least 10 years too), thicker vanilla up front with a more custard note to it, slightly floral , but more like a summer breeze over a flower meadow than the bunch of flowers the new 12yo thrusts under your nose, grassy/hay, barley cereal, some light honey,
  • Taste: Thinner and a little woodier on the palate, fruits, pear, apple, apricot some peach maybe, not so much citrus, more peach and apricot jam, gentle honey and golden syrup sweetness, a little waxier on the palate and with time, crystallized brown sugar, hints of ginger and black pepper spices and even a touch of oak wood and maybe a little char or wood smoke
  • Finish: Quite short and flat, that sweetness of honey and cereal notes linger quietly, plain barley sugar sweeties, much more drying


A fantastic opportunity to sample this older expression alongside the current 12 Year Old really throws the differences into perspective. In terms of impact, mouthfeel and flavour the 12 year old just has a little bit more going on, however as stated above this may have bottle-aged which can induce a slight dulling so I am not going to be overly critical of it.

Score 79/100

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Categories: Glenkinchie, Lowland

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