A distillery was founded on the site of the Glenkinchie distillery by brothers John and George Rate in 1825, under the name Milton. In 1837, the Glenkinchie distillery was registered. The whisky distillery lies south of Pencaitland, drawing its waters from the Lammermuir Hills in East Lothian. Marketed as ‘The Edinburgh Malt’, the Glenkinchie distillery is just fifteen miles away from the city.
A visitor centre has been installed and receives as many as 40,000 tourists a year. Indeed, the Glenkinchie distillery is well-prepared for visitors; there is a museum of distilling, installed by former manager Alistair Munro. Following purchase from John Rate in 1853, the distillery was passed on to the hands of Christie, a farmer who used the buildings as a sawmill. In 1881, a syndicate of Edinburgh-based drinks professionals purchased the distillery and nine years later they founded the Glenkinchie Distillery Company. The following years were spent refurbishing and refitting the buildings.
The Glenkinchie distillery is presently in Diageo hands; Glenkinchie formed Scottish Malt Distillers with four neighbouring Lowlanders. In 1925, Distillers Company Limited acquired Scottish Malt Distillers, latterly amalgamating into the drinks giant, Diageo. Today, Glenkinchie is hard to find independently bottled, there is, however, a comprehensive official range, including special releases and cask finishes.
Glenkinchie's Distillers Edition bottlings are allowed a finishing period in Amontillado Sherry, which is traditionally rather rich and nutty. In turn, this imparts some delicious almond and brown sugar notes to the top notch Lowland Scotch single malt. You're looking at the 2005 vintage Glenkinchie Distillers Edition, which was bottled in 2017.
Nose: Orange peel, amaretto, caramelised dates and a hint of oatcake.
Palate: Vanilla pod and oily walnut. A hint of juicy red grape.
Finish: Cinnamon and nutmeg - surprisingly Christmas-y for a Lowland!