I am back again with another pouch from Whisky-me and this time its a bottle I bought but didn’t open. Kininvie distillery is a modern distillery on the same site as Balvenie and Glennfiddich used to produce mostly stock for blends. The previous releases from the distillery have been, in my opinion, crazy expensive. Apparently, they were well received but not by me because I am not in the habit of spending £125 on a half sized bottle of 23 year old whisky at just over 40% ABV.
Kininvie wasn’t built to be pretty but it was built to help Genfiddich and Balvenie focus on their single malt brands. Opened in 1990 it is best described as a warehouse containing an array of stills. These stills are similar to those at Glenfiddich but the actual mashing and fermenting isn’t done in this building. It is piped from the Balvenie building where mashing and fermenting is done separate from Balvenie production.
The new affordable face of Kinivie is being pushed into the bracket of experimental and environmental. Three releases have been developed which are sold through Amazon exclusively (for now). This is a pattern developing which I have mentioned before that someone is pushing Amazon into the single malt market. The links to the complete first set are below:
I mentioned the move for the brand into being environmentally conscious and that is most obvious in the packaging. It is exclusively made from recycled cardboard but is in a cool book format with a diagram of the whisky making process. Not sure I like the crude recycled cardboard as its actually quite fragile and easily cut or damaged.
The experimental aspect is from the bottling of casks which were filled with short run spirit. In this case its triple distilled rather than the usual double process we are used to. This is of course a common technique in Irish whiskey and of course Auchentoshan is entirely triple distilled.
The experiment was done 3 years ago and so KVSM001 is a 3 year old single malt whisky bottled in 2019. All the details of the experiment are on the bottle as well which is a nice touch. It feels like a blender’s sample or something you would pick up on a shelf if you visited a distillery office. The creative vision on the rebranding here I totally get and think it is genuinely innovative. As a tactile product to touch and hold before trying it I would say its job well done so far.
Colour – almost transparent like diluted lemon juice
Nose – very very sweet with bubblegum like the stuff that’s neon blue as an ice-cream flavour. Pear drops as well.
Palate – The body is light and there is a lot of chilli heat. lemon rind and grapefruit make it acidic for sure but still fruit based. Certainly what you would call spirit led
Finish – Short finish with more chilli’s and youthful spirit.
I have always had a sweet tooth and this nose works for me. I think it is simply too young for most palates. Definitely drinkable and engaging but at a normalised £50 a bottle this is all about good marketing achieving price points on whisky earlier than could otherwise be achieved. Auchentoshan gets a bad rep for its longer end expressions like American Oak which is regularly £20 without any marketing really you can appreciate where the actual liquid should be sitting on the market.