Earlier this year, I wrote about my quandary regarding the Kininvie 17 year. You see, I picked it up from Singapore duty-free but as a 1st bottling, wasn’t sure if I should keep it a bit longer or open it immediately. After all, I’m not in the collector’s league and whisky for me is something to enjoy!
At the time, Ronald Ding of Whiskyrific made a lovely offer – to share a sample on which basis I could make an informed decision to crack open or keep.
Alas my Singapore travel plans kept getting postponed and when I did finally go in June 2015, Ronald and I simply could not manage to connect.
So he made an even kinder offer – to post the sample to me in Mumbai, India.
Now… I had my doubts. Would it actually make it through customs to my doorstep without incident or hassle?
Remarkably it did!
Kininvie 17 year, batch 1, 42.6% (bottle #3959)
So here is what I found…
- Nose – Instant grapey wine-like quality, a bit of oak, powder, floral, sweet, the usual flirting with vanilla and honey, then a slight nuttiness peeps out
- Palate – Again grapes – as in serious grapiness (is that a word?), mellowed into a delightful dram, the usual maltiness, creamy, yes a bit buttery too, a hint of warm spice to round out
- Finish – Did I say grapes before? This time think grape coolade…
- Water – Nope – didn’t try as it is already quite light
- Overall – Without a doubt smooth, light, classic Speyside… with grape!
I don’t think I’ve had a whisky that reminds me so forcefully of grapes… at first wine-like on the nose, then juicy grapes on the palate and grape coolade on the finish. I kid you not.
Which if you don’t like grapes means this isn’t the whisky for you.
But if you do… it is actually quite nice, pleasant, gentle, and grows on you sip by sip. I was disappointed when my wee sample dram was done.
The Kininvie distillery is based in the Conval hills of Dufftown, part of the Balvenie distillery compound and I first encountered it as a component in the rather yummy Monkey Shoulder.
There were a few prior single malt releases under the ‘Hazelwood’ label in honour of Janet Sheed Roberts, granddaughter of Glenfiddich’s founder William Grant, who lived to a remarkable 110 years old. From lawyer to director of William Grant & Sons, as noted on the label, she opened the distillery in 1990.
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
So many thanks Ronald!! I do suggest you check out his assessment on Whiskyrific – Kininvie 17 year!
As for my quandary? I think I will hang on to it until the right opportunity presents itself… as in to share not save.
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