Kinclaith must be one of the rarest whiskies. The Lowlands distillery was built inside the Strathclyde grain distillery complex and was only operated between 1957 and 1975.
The vast majority was used in the Long John blends and they never released an official expression. Less than thirty bottlings are known, most of them distilled in 1966-1969 or in 1975. We’re trying the Kinclaith 1966 in the Connoisseur’s Choice range from Gordon & MacPhail. It has a white ‘old map’ label (1990s). There’s an older one (16 Years Old) with a dark brown label.
Kinclaith 1966 (40%, Gordon & MacPhail Connoisseurs Choice, late 1980s)
Nose: dusty start with lots of hay and a creamy sweetness. Honey, yellow apples, maybe tinned apricot. A vague chalky / metallic note as well. Hints of vegetal oil, a little mint as well.
Mouth: sweet and peppery. Caramelized apple, overripe melon. A little cinnamon, salted butter, mint and liquorice. Almonds / Amaretto too.
Finish: rather short, malty and sweet, caramelly with a salty touch.
Not a great dram but really not bad either. Mellow, sweet and spicy, but fairly middle-of-the-road. But hey, I tried one of my missing distilleries! Around € 500 in auctions – understandable because it’s so rare, but not worth it from a drinking quality perspective.