The Secret Stills series by Gordon & MacPhail is one for bottlings that are not allowed to bear the distiller’s name. Luckily those bottlings usually have some indicative description that makes you aware from which stills the spirit dripped. In this case the town of Pencaitland is mentioned, which makes ‘5.1’ translate to the first bottling of Glenkinchie this series has brought. The numbering is kind of knicked from what the SMWS does, I guess.
Anyway, Glenkinchie is a Lowlands distillery of which you don’t find many indie bottlings. This is only the second I have ever tried I think, the first one being a 33 year old Dewar Rattray. The distillery is nice to visit and close-ish to Edinburgh, which makes it a tourist attraction. The tour is okay too, but none too spectacular. They do/did sell a rather kick-ass Distillery Only bottling.
Sweet tropical fruit with raisins and sherry. Dusty with old wood and dusty concrete. Also some grass, lemon rind. Crisp and slightly acidic.
Reasonably sharp, more so than you’d expect for a 45% bottling. Dry, woody and slightly fruity again. Grass and some spices which give a warming effecit, but also some chili heat, peach, lychee, raisins and sherry.
The finish is full, reasonably peppery with chocolate and praline.
A complex dram which offers way more than the regular distillery bottling. It’s also quite a bit older of course but depending on where you get this, it’s very fairly priced. At De Whiskykoning it’s more expensive than it needs to be, but then again, I have not seen these bottlings in The Netherlands before so that accounts for something.
Secret Stills 5.1, Glenkinchie, 19yo, 1987-2007, Gordon & MacPhail. € 112.50 at De Whiskykoning.