So much whisky, so little time | Singapore | Tasting Notes

Kininvie, 17 yo, 1996, Batch 1, 42.6%

Kininvie has got novelty value, just 2 Single Malt distillery bottlings under it’s own name. It was bottled under the Hazelwood name previously.

The story of this young distillery is tied up with Balvenie and owners William Grant & Sons. This distillery doesn’t have it’s own grounds, it sprang up under the shadow of the illustrious Balvenie as an additional still house to produce spirit that was much needed for blends, presumably so that Balvenie and Glenfiddich could maximise their Single Malt offerings.

This is NOT a shack leaning up against an old wall. It’s cutting edge in distillation tech, with 3 wash and 6 spirit stills producing 4.5 million litres a year – Alone larger than the majority of Scotland’s distilleries. But for all that, everything else that supported whisky distillation was taken from Balvenie at that point, so in a parallel universe, Kininvie might have been called Balvenie B.

This arrangement has changed after Kininvie’s reopening (shut for a year or so in 2010 after Ailsa Bay opened). I understand from a *certain* brand ambassador that some of the distillation assets, in particular the mash tun and washbacks, are/have been legally Kininvie’s.

Oh and if you’ve had Monkey Shoulder, you’ve had a lot of Kininvie.

The whisky: This is Batch 1, the first time Kininvie is bottled under it’s own name, at a SGD $160.60 *wince* at Duty Free stores Asia only, and its 50cl:

kininvie 17


from http://www.just-drink.com


Bottle says: First opened in July 1990 by Janet Sheed-Roberts, Granddaughter of William Grant, the KININVIE DISTILLERY has remained a treasured secret known by only a few. A whisky that exudes dedication and passion, this exceptional single malt has a distinctively ‘floral’style of spirit that is the hallmark of KININVIE.

Official tasting notes: Rich and Full aroma with fresh fruit notes and a deep vanilla sweetness. Uniquely fragrant with a characteristic floral note that is accentuated through the addition of a little water. Taste: Beautifully sweet, buttery vanilla and slightly spicy. Finish: Long and lingering with a notable sweetness.


Nose  Nose: Meadow flowers and pillowy soft. Freshly laundered cotton sheets. Then gets warmer with some brown sugar, some cereal, some fruity hints (but not huge) and touches of honey. Green apples and a nice redcurrant juiciness.

Taste  Palette: Purple flowers, sweet with berry juice. Light but supple, then malt shows up. Aha betrayed by just a hint of spirity-ness.  Some light spices and some tangy-ness follows – grapefuit?

Finish  Finish: Medium short, sweet floral aftertaste, which really seems to be a signature here.

Score 50


Having only read the official notes after writing my own, I am struck how the soft floral really goes from nose to palette and even pervades the finish. Very drinkable and easy going, on the lighter side as whisky goes, feminine even – if that’s a word that can be used nowadays. It’s good stuff, if a little straight-forward, and could do with more complexity, but is that what the 23 yo Batch 2 is for?

2 comments on “Kininvie, 17 yo, 1996, Batch 1, 42.6%

  1. Pingback: The Quandry of the Kininvie 17 year | Whisky Lady

  2. Pingback: Kininvie 17 year 42.6% – a quandary no more! | Whisky Lady

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This entry was posted on October 10, 2014 by in Kininvie and tagged .
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