14 Apr 2014
Kininvie 1990 (Batch 001)
Tasting notes by Ruben Luyten - Posted in Kininvie
Kininvie was the ‘secret distillery’ within the William Grant & Sons production site that also houses Glenfiddich and Balvenie. Although its stillhouse was separate, it used to share mash tuns and washbacks with The Balvenie. But now it has been expanded with its own dedicated equipment.
So far we’ve only seen a couple of Hazelwood-branded releases from these stills. They were only fired when extra blending whisky was required (it’s the core ingredient of Monkey Shoulder) and there was officially never any intent to bottle Kininvie as a single malt. Until this first official bottling that was launched in Taiwan last year. It’s a 23 years old composition of different bourbon and sherry casks distilled in 1990.
The fact that it’s called Batch 001 indicates the start of a series, maybe also releasing expressions in other parts of the world, although it looks like nothing is fixed yet and they prefer the future to be a little vague.
Kininvie 23 yo 1990
(42,6%, OB 2013, hogsheads & sherry butts, 6430 btl, Batch 001, 35 cl.)
Nose: an elegant nose but also a slightly spirity one. Even at relatively low strength it’s rather neutral. Kirsch or other types of fruit spirit. A lot of vanilla and almonds. Newish oak. A hint of apple, as well as apple blossom. Floral honey. Not bad, just not very expressive. Mouth: very sweet, plenty of apples and honey again. Citrus. Damsons. Maybe hints of strawberries. Sugared cereals. Some pepper and a general oaky note towards the end. Finish: medium long, with apple and hints of chocolate.
I really like The Balvenie and this Kininvie 1990 has a similar character, but on the other hand there’s a strange blend-like side to it as well, including the rough, grainy edges. A malt that’s made to replicate – or reinforce – a blend? Around € 250 for a half bottle – that’s a lot of money, even for one of the rarest names.