Single Malt

Balvenie, 12 years old

by Rob on

Yesterday Marion and I have been shopping. While I was gathering all kind of things for dinner tonight, Marion visited a liquor store to buy a nice wine for that dinner (she has much more knowledge about wine then I have). But she returned not only with a very nice wine, but also with a bottle Single Malt Whisky… a Balvenie 12 years old!

Her attention for this bottle of Single Malt was taken by de name on it. This Whisky finds it origin in Dufftown, the town in Scotland that Marion and just very recently visited. And even more, it caries the name of the castle (or what is left of that) that Marion and I visited during our stay. A friend already told about the Balvenie Distillery after he heard we visited Dufftown. And already by now I can taste this Single Malt. Thank you so much Marion…

I am not an expert on tasting and reviewing Single Malt Whiskeys. I am doing just my own thing on my own way… and yes, there is still a lot to learn for me (and that is the fun part for me).

As already pointed out, the Balvenie distillery is located in Duffstown, the Speyside area. The distillery was founded in 1889 by William Grant. For that he bought in the 18th century the Balvenie New House estate. It took more then a year to rebuilt the estate to a distillery.
It is said that William Grant was until his death on a age of 83 involved with the distillery.
Balvenie grows its own barley from the family farm for traditional floor maltings, and still uses coopers to tend the casks and a coppersmith to tend the stills.

The Balvenie Single Malt I have tasted here is the Double Wood, 12 years.
Double wood means that it has been matured in two woods. Over the time of maturation it is transferred from a traditional oak whisky cask to an European Oak Sherry Task. The traditional oak casks soften and add character to the Single Malt, whilst the sherry wood brings depth and fullness of flavour.

I have to admit that I really like this Single Malt. It is soft and smooth, so no need to add any water to this one. The nose is sweet. Honey with a touch of vanilla.
The taste and flavour is all full of honey, maybe even a bit nutty. A soft touch of peat. A great taste in my opinion.
The after-taste is long, cinnamon flavours and soothing. Very enjoyable.

This Single Malt will be more often a guest in my house. And I am looking forward to taste the other Single Malts of this distillery…

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Glenkincie, 12 years old

by Rob on

After the visit Marion and I made to Scotland it must be very clear that I really like a good whiskey.

A good glass of Single Malt Whiskey is really nice while reading a good book or listening to nice music. It is also a very nice way to end an enjoyable evening.

So I thought it would be nice to write a bit about the whiskeys that I taste. Specially the “Single Malt” whiskeys. A Single Malt Whiskey is a whiskey made at one particular distillery from a mash that uses one particular malted grain, which is ordinarily barley (this as a contrary to a blended whiskey, which is generally the product of mixing one or more higher quality or single malt whiskeys with higher-alcohol-content spirits or neutral grain spirits and water).

I will tell a bit about the whiskey itself. Where the distillery is located. Maybe a bit about the history of the distillery. Fun and interesting things to know. And of course what I think about that whiskey.
I have to be honest, I never tasted a Single Malt Whiskey that I didn’t like. But there are many differences between all the Single Malt Whiskeys that are out there and I like one more then the other.

Don’t expect every week such an article about a whiskey. It takes some time before I finish a bottle of whiskey. I don’t drink every day whiskey. Whiskey is something you should drink when the mood is right. There are weeks I don’t drink it at all. And when I drink whiskey, I drink two, maybe three, glasses at most. And of course you don’t fill a whiskey-glass up completely. You just fill it with a bottom of whiskey. So yes, considering all that, it takes some time before a bottle of whiskey is empty.

Most of the time I have just one bottle of Single Malt Whiskey open (which doesn’t mean I have just one bottle at home :P). The Single Malt I am currently enjoying is the Glenkincie, 12 years old…

The distillery of the Glenkincie lies in a glen (“valley”) of the Kinchie Burn. It is situated about 25 kilometres from the city of Edinburgh. It origins date back to around 1825 and was named Milton Distillery, but was most likely renamed around 1837 to its current name.
The Glenkinchie label was relatively little known until 1989, when United Distillers started marketing it under their Classic Malts brand.

The standard 10 year old Glenkinchie has now been replaced by the standard “12 year old”. This is a fairly typical lowland whisky in that it is fresh and light in character, with notes of lemon and cut grass. A sweet nose and a hint of peat make this a good introduction to the world of single malts.

Fun fact to mention is that we are here talking about a Lowland Whiskey. Most people will have heard about the Speyside, Highlands and Islay whiskeys. But yes, the Lowlands have their whiskeys as well. The Lowlands is the region of Scotland that borders with England.

For me it was the first time that I taste a Glenkinchie Single Malt. I like it, as already said before I never tasted a Single Malt Whiskey that I really disliked. But to be really honest, it is certainly not the best tasting Single Malt that I ever had.

Bare me, I’m not an experienced or trained person on Whiskey reviews. I am here just at the start of long (and hopefully a very enjoyable) road to follow and learn more on this subject (and the recent visit at The Glenlivet Distillery was a very important spot in that roadmap). So all I can do describe what I think and experienced with this whiskey. And lets not forgot, taste is very personal matter, which can differ very strongly from one person to another.

The flavour and first taste was wonderful. Very round and fresh, notes of lemon as advertised. Words as fruity, honey and oak comes to mind. The body I would call medium to light, maybe a bit creamy. So far very enjoyable.
But then with what I would call the “after taste” something changes…. It is harsh and too strong in my opinion. Kind a pity after such a good first impression.

No, I won’t empty this bottle through the kitchen sink, but I am looking forward to the next Single Malt to review.

A search on the Internet showed me that there is also a 14 years Glenkinchie Distillers Edition. Maybe that one has a better “after taste”. The future will tell.

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