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Monday, June 24, 2024

Glenkinchie 27 year old, Diageo Special Releases 2023

I'm not sure why I went in on a split of six of last year's Special Releases, but I did! I'm in the process of trying them all this week, so the reviews will be sprinkled over the next three weeks, starting with the oldest one first.

Glenkinchie is not my whisky jam. The 12yo is so-so, the Distillers Edition is drinkable, and the old 10yo is sub-mediocre. But.......a 27 year old 'kinchie in refill casks does indeed catch my attention. Its fellow Lowlanders, Bladnoch and Auchentoshan, take to age quite well, so I hope Glenkinchie follows suit.

Distillery: Glenkinchie
Owner: Diageo
Region: Lowlands (Eastern)
Age: minimum 27 years
Bottling year: 2023
Maturation: refill American & European oak barrels and butts
Outturn: ?????
Alcohol by Volume: 58.3%
Chillfiltered? No
e150a? No
(from a bottle split)


The nose has a simple but powerful mix of carrot cake, almond extract, orange candy, dried mango, and wet stones. Possibly more complex, the palate starts off with guava, apricots, orange bitters, and hint of grapefruit, perfectly balancing sweet and tart. There are hints of pepper and sawdust in the background, but they never intrude on the fruits. The sweet & tart carries over into the long finish that includes a wee mango highlight at the end.

Not going to water this down too much...

DILUTED to ~50%abv, or 1 tsp of water per 30mL whisky

The nose gets a little quirky, in a good way, with more florals, muskier (tropical) fruit, something ferment-y, and a whiff of mushrooms. Bright, tart citrus starts the palate off, followed by baked apricots, clover honey, and cayenne pepper. It finishes with limes, peaches, and flowers.


Dear Reader, a great modern Glenkinchie exists! It'll set you back $400+, but bottles remain on shelves, so it can be yours if you have the 🦌s. The fruitiness hits all the right spots, the oak influence is in a decent place, and the whisky is easily drinkable for 58%abv. It's not the deepest 27yo whisky one can find, but it is an expressive and very tasty surprise!

Availability - A few dozen US and European specialists
Pricing - $350-$450
Rating - 88