The Quandry of the Kininvie 17 year

I’m in a quandary… To open or not to open?

You see… on one of my many trips through Singapore in 2014, I splurged and picked up the Kininvie 17 year, batch 1.

Kininvie is based in the Coeval hills of Dufftown – built on the Balvenie distillery grounds and best known as a component in the rather yummy Monkey Shoulder. While Grant & Sons are well known, having this particular distillery come ‘out’ as Kininvie is relatively recent with just the 17 and 23 year on offer.

Kininvie 17 year

Kininvie 17 year

What do I know so far? Well…

  • 1st batch bottled for travel retail market
  • Matured for 17 years in 80% American Oak, 20% Sherry Cask
  • Strength 42.6%

The official tasting notes suggest:

Nose – 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

However those are not the observations of either our monthly whisky tasting club or I…

So… why not just crack open the bottle now and check it out?

Well… you see… This particular bottle is designed to be ‘rare’ and if the initial reviews are any indication, may be worth hanging on to for a bit.

Or perhaps it is just hype.

I have never looked at whisky as an investment or something to ‘save’ for a later day. Instead whisky to me is a sociable affair – something to be savoured, shared and enjoyed with others passionate about such pleasures.

So… what should I do? Open now or save?

To open or not to open...

To open or not to open…

What others are saying about the Kininvie 17 year:

PS I finally did try it thanks to a sample from Whiskyrific! You can read my tasting notes here.

You can also find Whisky Lady in India on:

10 thoughts on “The Quandry of the Kininvie 17 year

  1. Did you receive your whisky sample and make a decision about ‘keep or drink’ for your original 35cl of Kininvie? I see there’s now a ‘Batch 3’ of the 23yo Kininvie. I wonder how collectable the distillery will be if they release as many batches as the Aberlour A’bunadh?! Although, if you had saved a ‘batch 1’ of the A’bunadh you’d be laughing all the way to the bank! 🙂 Sometimes getting in at the beginning is one of the best things for a whisky investment.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I still haven’t sampled the Kininvie batch 1 yet.. that generous offer requires a trip to Singapore whereas I’m in Mumbai. 🙂 Should be going there next month though!

      As for A’bunadh – one of my early favourites for well priced cask strength sherry whiskies. I think it was #24? I then went on to regularly pick up but started to be a bit disappointed with the later batches – either my palate had shifted or they just weren’t as complex as I ideally like.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Interesting what you’ve experienced with your declining taste of the A’bunadh. It’s what Ralfy on You Tube mentioned as he’s reviewed 3 different batches over the years. It could be that standards at Aberlour are slipping but I encountered a similar thing as I worked my way through the one and only bottle I’ve tried (Batch 45). I think the first time I tasted the A’bunadh it had such a WOW factor, future sips would never be the same. Plus I’ve moved more towards Islay since I started the bottle. My palate has certainly shifted, which might be what you (and even Ralfy) have experienced. Looking forward to your views on the Kininvie when you finally get to taste it!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I agree my own palate has shifted and possibly also the A’bunadh too. Like you, it had that ‘wow’ factor (in my case in the 20s batches). I did once compare the dregs of a 28 (I think!) with one in the early 30s which most clearly left me with the ‘declining’ taste impression. The 28 was smooth, rich, complex whereas the 30 something was quite harsh without all the range of notes and flavours. Much more sock you and drag you away than glorying in a symphony of sensations.

        Of course this was before I actually detailed tasting experiences hence I just have the vague recollection.

        So I picked up another bottle a few years ago and hope to grab a more recent one to compare at some point this year.

        As for the Kininvie – will update when I do get a chance to sample!


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