Glenkinchie 20 year old, 55.1%
Price: $189 ● Issue: Spring 2011 ● Reviewer: Dave Broom
If Cragganmore is sometimes overlooked, then what of this poor Lowlander whose qualities are consistently overlooked? Again, here we have a pale color suggesting use of refill casks, but whereas Cragganmore was reticent to the point of being mute, this is expressive and lively. The nose, with intense floral notes of lilac blossom, freesia, and chamomile, is a revelation. These are backed with a thick, unsalted butter note that suggests that the cask might not have been as quiet as first imagined. Give it time, and out come boiled sweets and a fresh green note, like a just-whittled stick. A hint of wheat chaff and fragrant grasses brings to mind lying in a summer meadow watching the dust motes dance in the sunshine. The mouth is sweet and lemon-accented with a pickup of a pleasant chalkiness on the nose that gives it the suggestion of a fino sherry or Vin Jaune. I like its energy, and feel that the addition of water reduces its vibrancy, so for drinking purposes I'd have a glass of ice cold water on the side. All in all impressive, with just a hint of soap on the finish taking it below the 90 mark.