The Classic Malts of Scotland were first initiated as a bundle marketing strategy by United Distillers and Vintners which was later acquired by Diageo, until recently the largest distiller in the world. The original six single malt whiskies which came to be known under this umbrella were Glenkinchie 12 from the Lowlands, Talkiser 10 from the Isle of Skye, Lagavulin 16 from Islay, Cragganmore 12 from Speyside, Dalwhinnie 15 from the Highland and Oban 14 also from Highland but classified as originating from Western Highland for differentiation’s sake.
All of these are as good whiskies as any other quality single malt of the world but at an early stage of my whisky drinking days the tag of Classic Malts of Scotland seemed to fascinate me. Once, when I was at a bar with my father I spotted the above mentioned six whiskies displayed together at the bar counter under banner Classic Malts of Scotland. I had tasted some of them before but I had never read about this term and later that evening consulted my whisky guide and learned about the information I shared with you above. In a six part series I will share my take on each of them.
Glenkinchie 12 from the Lowland
The Glenkinchie 12 is distilled in the lowlands region which is southern Scotland about 15 miles from Edinburgh. It was a relatively unknown name until the United Distillers’ Classic Malts branding strategy came about in 1989. It is one of the only three active distilleries of the region.
I happened to taste this after having tasted all the other Classic Malts and in my humble opinion its best had as an aperitif.
Colour: Bright golden
Nose: Aromatic heather, a bit of vanilla and citrus
Body: Smooth but light and delicate
Palate: Sweet and citrus-y
Finish: Herbal and dry. Not lingering.
Pairing: I enjoyed my whisky with slightly salted almonds owing to its light body and dry finish.