Diageo’s lowland representative in the Classic Malts selection; Glenkinchie Distillery is known for turning out light, floral expressions typical of the region.

This 2010 Limited Edition ‘Cask Strength’ bottling is exclusively sold at the distillery and offers something a little different. It’s bottled at 59.3% ABV and carries no age statement.

Colour

Copper resin.

Nose

The first thing you notice about this whisky is how thick it is. Even before checking the legs on the glass, you can see the viscosity as the liquid rolls around.

The nose also feels thick which is a little unexpected; lots of rich buttery toffee along with the hot alcohol burn. There’s also a strange synthetic sweetness too.

If you were given this whisky to nose blind, I think it could easily be mistaken for a bourbon; it’s quite unusual.

Taste

Given the bottling strength, the hot alcohol is quite dominant when tasting neat; this is to be expected however.

Mouthfeel is thick and the main flavour is thick molasses / toffee sweetness with a bit of bitterness. The synthetic smell detected in the nose appears as a strange sweet note then leads into a long dry finish with the molasses continuing to the end.

Adding water opens it up, balancing out the alcohol and releasing a bit of lighter caramel sweetness. Some tropical fruit appears as well, though more like fruit salad sweets than fresh fruit. Still not much complexity.

Overall

This is probably the most ‘bourbon-y’ scotch I’ve ever tasted, displaying a lot of the characteristics I’d associate with the American spirit.

Given the lack of age statement, it’s reasonable to assume that the Glenkinchie is fairly young and I wouldn’t bet against caramel being used to help the colour. The cask strength is good, however unfortunately it’s still quite one-dimensional in flavours which is disappointing.

Water definitely helps release the sweetness and it’s good that the bitterness which often appears in diluted younger whiskies is nowhere to be seen; that spirit thickness seems to make it a bit more robust.

Would I recommend the Glenkinchie Cask Strength? Not sure to be honest, if you like bourbon characteristics then go for it, but if you’re a fan of Glenkinchie’s typical style, or like lighter / fruitier whiskies then this possibly isn’t for you.

It’s an interesting whisky in that it’s different, however I did find it a bit flat and probably not something I’d buy again.

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