I first tasted Glenkinchie at the very first whisky show I ever went to, Toronto's Spirit of Toronto in 2012. It was a Diageo "Classic Malts" masterclass. It didn't make much of an impression on me, but I figured since I've never reviewed a Glenkinchie before, why not pick one up and give it some proper attention?
The original 'Kinchie in the Classic Malts stable was a 10 Year Old, but they replaced it with a 12 at some point (which by all accounts is an improvement). Fifteen miles from Edinburgh, it is Diageo's only Lowland distillery (they closed Rosebank back in the '80s. Because they are evil.) The distillery was founded by George and John Rate in 1825 (as Milton Distillery) and it struggled until it was purchased in 1881 by an Edinburgh brewer and a couple of wine merchants, who updated its equipment and improved its production. It became one of Diageo's original Classic Malts in 1988.
The colour is a light-to-medium gold. Very grassy on the nose, with herbs, light butterscotch and orange marmalade. Quite citrusy, actually, with lemon curd and lime pith brightening it up. Mangoes and pears, too - a real fruit bomb. I detect a tiny hit of peat. Maltier (and slightly peatier) with water. Too much orange but it is pleasant enough.
On the palate, the orange takes a back seat to toffee, vanilla, ripe peaches and more lemon curd. Very light spices, cardamom and mint. As with the nose, fruit is the dominating factor, particularly citrus and stone fruits. A bit too sweet, but water helps, adding a bit of spice and lime pith.
The finish is crisp, very fruity and has a wisp of smoke to it. This is nice but it's a bit too fruity and sweet for me; if I wanted to introduce someone to whisky who likes Bellinis, I might pick this one. Mind you, it is freshly opened so we'll see if time helps balance it out. 2016 World Whiskies Award-Winner for Best Scotch - Lowlands.