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January 15, 2024 (edited January 29, 2024)
3.75 out of 5 stars
The story of Glenkinchie and its late – and now reborn – sister Rosebank is an interesting one. Rosebank was founded in the 18th century, just a few decades after its sister Glenkinchie. Both were in the Lowlands. At Rosebank, there was no beautiful scenery, as it was close to the Forth & Clyde canal. The flow of water in the canal was interrupted due to debris. Glenkinchie is still located today in the Kinchie Burn valley (hence Glen-Kinchie), a beautiful place, close to the charming village of Pencaitland. In 1914, Rosebank, Glenkinchie and three other distilleries in the region decided to found a commercial group called Scottish Malt Distillers, which was bought by the Distillers Company Limited in 1919 and which later became the giant Diageo. Legend has it that in 1993, Diageo decided to close one distillery in the Lowlands, to concentrate its investment in the other. Rosebank was considered the queen, as its whiskeys were among the best in Scotland. Those at Glenkinchie, however, were considered merely good. The logic would have been to close Glenkinchie, and Rosebank, but this distillery was on a viewless canal and Glenkinchie, in a postcard Scottish landscape. Furthermore, Glenkinchie was chosen for the Classic Malts of Scoland, Diageo's select group representative by region (it includes Talisker, Lagavulin and Oban, among others). Diageo also wanted to build a beautiful visitor center and on that subject, there was no discussion. Rosebank's fate was sealed by its appearance. Of course, there are other factors at play. Glenkinchie was better known, thanks to the Classic Malts group. Its productive capacity was also superior. Rosebank, in turn, despite the quality of its whiskeys, only played a supporting role. Glenkinchie 12 years old is a whiskey with a light and delicate body. The lightness is due to the size and bulb shape of its stills, which encourage reflux. Due to the sensorial characteristics, the educated guess is that the maturation is done in American oak that previously contained bourbon whiskey. This makes sense, if we consider that the other expression in its portfolio – the Glenkinchie Distiller’s Edition – is finished in ex-sherry European oak barrels, and is of the same age. It is a floral and slightly bitter whiskey, with a slightly sulfuric and short finish. Even though it is not a very complex and expensive malt for what it offers, it is easy to drink. Source: Cão Engarrafado.