Glenkinchie 2004 Distillers Edition

Glenkinchie 2004 Distillers Edition (43%, OB, G/289-7-D, 2016)

  • Category: Lowland single malt scotch whisky
  • Origin: Glenkinchie Distillery
  • Bottling: Diageo; Distillers Edition
  • ABV: 43%
  • Cost: £61.84


What they say

After mellowing in a refill cask to develop the soft distillery character for a decade, a secondary maturation in a specifically chosen Amontillado cask wood ensures that all the good work continues.

Official tasting notes:

  • Appearance: Golden brown.
  • Nose: Brisk, sharp and brittle. An excellent nose; astonishing balance and complexity between sweet and dry. The slightly firmer, drier notes are provided by very soft vanillins and crisp grape; the sweeter, nuttier ones by the malted barley and possibly the Spanish oak.
  • Taste: in brief… An intriguing whisky. Fascinating and very enjoyable. In a sentence… Balanced sweet and dry nose, enormous malt palate and long oaky, dry finish – the second maturation perfectly develops Glenkinchie’s character.
  • Palate: Essentially dry following a very early burst of biscuity-sweetness. Enormous malt character, the more pronounced as it can be measured against the thin fruitiness of the grape.
  • Finish: A very long offering of oak. Remains dry with very faint peppery notes – again, oak induced – spicing things up a little. Some very late caramel softens things down, though – especially when the glass has warmed in the hand.

What I say

Another joy from visiting Glenkinchie distillery was the chance to taste the reasonably current Glenkinchie Distillers Edition edition, bottled in 2016. These are usually released each year around October.

I think I had just been a little early on my last visit to the Distillery as it was due out weeks afterwards and the previous years edition has just sold out.

There is also a 2005/2017 edition released, but clearly tasting stock of the 2004/2016 is still available at the distillery.

My tasting notes:

  • Appearance: Sauternes / coppery (9/20), slow-forming, rare, medium tears leave medium-fine legs
  • Nose: [sic, original notes from our sampling of the 1999 Distillers Edition] A rounded fruity sweetness, with tangerine, orange, clementine, orange zest and ginger thick-cut marmalade, a heap of muskovado sugar and a little peach and apricot too add to the biscuity malt, hazelnut, oak wood and caramel mix with vanilla bean pods, white pepper and nutmeg. [there is little I could add to this – perhaps a note on the florality which seems much more evident in Glenkinchie these days?]
  • Taste: Light and creamy, slightly refreshing, the citrus is still present but is more like candied peel in a jammy reduction, the clementine and perhaps a little grapefruit peel display with a hit of acridity of the caramelised oak wood, this is quite syrupy in mouthfeel and the sweetness really persists, more zest and citrus fruit peel. [I would add a touch of pith to the citrus nature and almost a hint of grapefruit, a deeper nutty note shifting from lighter hazelnut to walnut, perhaps a little drier and grassy and also a hint of wood smoke again]
  • Finish: Long, Sweet and drying, more orange citrus peel and zest, ginger and fudge or tablet [ The 2004 edition is less sweeter and has much more wood/cigar box, grass, nut and a faint hint of mint/menthol in here too]


This is a definite improvement on the standard Glenkinchie 12 Years Old

With masses of sweet citrus fruit peel and zest really take-over and carry the cereal barley malt along quite happily.

Initially quite light and refreshing but later becomes sweet and drying – moreish like crunchy nut cornflakes!

Perhaps a difference in the Amontillado sherry casks used for maturation or a result of the slightly newer style of Glenkicnhie spirit we are finding? This expression was much more woody, grassy and chewier on the palate which definitely improves the experience when compared to the previous 1999 Distillers Edition we had sampled

Score 87/100

Shop for Glenkinchie Distillers Edition (opens Master of Malt)

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Categories: Glenkinchie, Lowland

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