William Grant & Sons have recently launched their highly anticipated third release from the lesser-known Dufftown Kininvie Distillery, also marking the first drops we have seen from the distillery down here in Australia. The Kininvie 23 Year Old Batch No.3 is an incredibly rare, super premium single malt Scotch Whisky that is unlike anything that has come from the distillery before.
The spirit was showcased at an exclusive event in Sydney, down in the dark in Sydney’s private Magazin bar with none other than Laura Hay, ambassador for William Grant & Sons, who guided those in attendance through not only a tasting of the 23 Y.O, but three other Kininvie expressions not available for purchase in Australia.
It’s important to note that Kininvie is a relatively new distillery, having only opened in 1990 by the last remaining granddaughter of William Grant, Janet Sheed Roberts. Their first release was in 2013, exclusive in Taiwan with the Kininvie 23 Year Old Batch No. 1, which was quickly followed by Batch No. 2 in 2014, exclusively in UK, USA, and mainland Europe. Both batches sold out almost instantly and earned the distillery a passionate cult following around the world.
Knowing that, you can understand why this was a big deal for those in attendance at this very limited event. Rather than the more familiar distilleries of Balvenie and Glenfiddich, Kininvie – which sits between her two older sisters – only comes out to play ever so often, gifting select groups Whiskies that are not only rare, but beautifully crafted to showcase the complexity William Grant & Sons have been known for for a very, very long time.
The Kininvie 23 Year Old Batch No. 3 has been matured in ex-bourbon (American Hogshead) casks before being finished off in sherry butts for the last six months of the maturing process. It’s bottled at an ABV of 42.6%, carrying the distillery’s trademark floral and toffee notes on the nose as well as the more subtle notes of honey, vanilla, and a very slight lemon that mirrors the liquid’s light colour. On the palate, the spirit is soft at first before giving way to a zesty combination of vanilla, nutmeg, and honey, which finishes with some late notes of cinnamon and sweet white chocolate, not parting from it’s consistent zesty character either.
Laura Hay prefaced our tasting of the Whisky with a focus on how different it is from the first two batches, and while I’ve never tried the first two, I can certainly see why this would be considered a distinctive expression. The hype around it’s exclusivity is certainly not all there is to Batch No.3, there’s something quite striking in this release, and one which has me anticipating any subsequent releases from Kininvie.
Each bottle of Kininvie 23 Year Old Batch No. 3 displays the year of distillation, batch number, and individual bottle number. The limited edition Single Malt is available at all good Whisky retailers for an RRP of $210
For more information on William Grant & Sons head to www.williamgrant.com