William Grant & Sons (WGS)-owned Dufftown, Moray-based Scotch whisky distillery Kininvie is one of the more unknown brands in the company’s portfolio. Perhaps it’s because the focus for too long has been on the far better known Glenfiddich – if not its most profitable product, then certainly its most important as the world’s best-selling single malt – as well as fast-growing The Balvenie, which comes a rather close second. Or maybe it’s the fact that the whisky produced by Kininvie, since it started production in 1990 (with its own equipment located within buildings in The Balvenie distillery), largely goes into WGS’s blended whiskies (such as the triple malt Monkey Shoulder) until it closed in 2010.
In fact, in its 23-year history no products were released under the Kininvie brand name until 2013 when a very limited Batch Number One was launched exclusively in Taiwan – the Kininvie 23-year old – at just a limited run of 7,000 bottles. Last month a new Batch Number One was again released in Taiwan, the Kininvie 17-year old. Both – matured in hogsheads and sherry butts before being married – come in 35cl bottlings.
Kininvie whisky exhibits a rich, fruity, floral aroma and taste – the characteristics of a classic Speyside.
So far as we know both the Kininvie 23-year old and the Kininvie 17-year old are currently only exclusively available in Taiwan’s travel retail, which is a shame because both just won Gold medals in the Super Premium Scotch Single Malt category of the World Whisky Masters 2014 that makes them both even more desirable. And considering how the competition is one of the most respected blind tastings in the industry helmed by a panel of expert judges, that’s no mean feat.
Until now. We just heard that William Grant & Sons is planning to launch both these expressions in Singapore towards the last quarter of this year, and is also likely to consider releasing further bottlings of the Kininvie in the coming future.
But until then the 17-year old and especially the 23-year old will be exceedingly hard to find outside of Taiwan, so if you happen across either Kininvie expressions when you travel there you may want to consider picking them up.
Tasting Notes (Official): The Kininvie 23 Years Old, 42.6% ABV
Nose Rich and vibrant aroma with ripe, fleshy fruit notes overlaid with creamy vanilla toffee sweetness. A more subtle floral, leafy summer blossom note develops over time.
Taste Beautifully soft and mellow with a luxurious silky texture. The rich vanilla oakiness resulting from 23 years of maturation gives an incredible depth of flavour and sweetness. Woody spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves are layered with zesty citrus and candied orange peel.
Finish Enduringly sweet.
Tasting Notes (Official): The Kininvie 17 Years Old, 42.6% ABV
Nose Rich and full aroma with fresh fruit notes and a deep vanilla sweetness. Unique fragrant with a characteristic floral note that is accentuated through the addition of a little water.
Taste Beautifully sweet, buttery vanilla and slightly spicy.
Finish Long and lingering with a notable sweetness.