Glenkinchie 1975 33 Years Old (A.D. Rattray)
This might just be the oldest Glenkinchie ever bottled. To be honest, there’s not many independent bottlings of Glenkinchie to begin with, so it’s less of an accomplishment compared to say, Linkwood or Mortlach. Since 2008, less than a dozen independent Glenkinchie have hit the market.
I’m never quite sure why you see so many indies from certain Diageo distilleries, while an independent Glenkinchie, Oban, Cardhu or Dalwhinnie is almost more rare than even Port Ellen or Karuizawa. It probably has something to do with availability, importance in relation to certain Diageo blends, and the amount of whisky a distillery produces. Anyway, if someone cares to explain it to me, please feel free.
For now, I’ll turn my attention to the aforementioned very old Glenkinchie. Bottled after 33 years of ageing by A.D. Rattray, this whisky was distilled in 1975 and matured in a refill hogshead.
Glenkinchie 1975 33 Years Old (60.7%, A.D. Rattray, C#2967)
Nose: Spicy notes with furniture polish as well, but also a nice waxiness and subtle tropical influence with mango, apricot, peach, as well as floral honey. A touch of eucalyptus and cinnamon. Not too dissimilar from some of those excellent old anonymous Speysiders.
Taste: Creamy and waxy, and then a very spicy and hot arrival (ginger, chilis). Drying and somewhat bitter oak too. Orange marmelade, brown sugar, crème brûlée as well. Lets add some water… Brings out menthol, eucalyptus and even more dryness and bitterness.
Finish: Oak tannins, spices. Long.
The nose is beautiful, up there with some of the better whiskies I’ve tasted from the 1970s. The alcohol is not a factor, until you taste the whisky. It’s too overpowering at times, and adding water does not help. Nevertheless, the palate is still better than 80 percent of the whiskies I’ve tasted.
Thijs is a spirits writer and accredited liquorist from The Netherlands. He runs the blog Words of Whisky and contributes to a number of Dutch and international publications.