Official bottlings from Kininvie and Ladyburn distilleries are now made available by William Grant and Sons.
Most whisky enthusiasts would normally associate William Grant & Sons (WGS) with brands like Glenfiddich and The Balvenie. Indeed, these popular distilleries produce many award winning expressions and very delicious malts. What you may not know about this independent, family-run company is that they also own the Kininvie and Ladyburn distilleries. Recently, WGS have made official bottlings from these relatively obscure distilleries available to the public.
Kininvie 23 Years Old Batch Number Three
Almost all of the whiskies from Kininvie distillery are used in the Grant’s as well as Monkey Shoulder blends. In other words, the distillery’s single malt bottlings are rather rare.
WGS released the 17-year-old Batch Number One in 2013 and the 23-year-old Kininvie ‘Batch Number Two’ in 2014. The following year, WGS released the ‘Batch Number Three’ in selected markets and now, it is made available here in Singapore.
This latest Kininvie is a 23-year-old whisky that resulted from the “careful maturation and marrying of the liquid in hogsheads and sherry butts.” Or, 80 per cent bourbon, 20 per cent sherry, according to Kevin Abrook, global whisky specialist and innovation at WGS.
We had a sample of the Batch Number Three. On the nose, we had broad, sweet notes. It was a mix of ripened tropical fruits as well as raisins. There were also vanilla , with floral notes coming through at the end. It tasted slightly bitter, reminiscent of cinnamon. This expression has a dry and sweet finish, with an overhanging oaky note.
The 42.6% ABV Kininvie 23 Years Old Batch Number Three is priced at S$200. Do note that it is a 35cl bottle.
Official Tasting notes
Rich and vibrant aroma with ripe, fleshy fruit notes overlaid with deep vanilla sweetness. A more fragrant, floral summer blossom note develops over time.
Beautifully soft and mellow with a luxurious silky texture. The rich vanilla oakiness resulting from 23 years of maturation gives great depth of flavour and sweetness. Woody spices are layered with zesty citrus and candied orange peel.
Enduringly sweet with a fragrant, floral backnote.
Now, what are really rare, in the genuine sense of the word, are whiskies from the Ladyburn distillery. It was operational only for about a decade, from 1966 to 1976. Supplies are scarce, and WGS has very rarely released official bottlings, until now.
This Ladyburn 40-year-old was distilled in 1974 and bottled in 2014. It’s the first official bottling in 14 years.
Because of its scarcity, this is pretty much an investment bottle, or one for the big occasion.
Again, Cask and Drams were invited to try this out and it is definitely something that is very different from modern bottlings.
On the nose, we had plenty of varnish, with sweeter notes coming through at the end. The mouth feel is characteristic of the Ladyburn distillery, at least from what we were told; it is very buttery and oily, along with tobacco and leather. The finish is medium-long, herbaceous and oaky. You can imagine Winston Churchill smoking a full bodied cigar and sipping on this whisky.
Official Tasting Notes
Soft and gentle at first, then grassy notes give way to tropical fruits – papaya, pineapple, banana and with promises of rich chocolate and some spice on the palate.
A delicate caramelised sugar sweetness laden with tropical fruit and melons, layered with leather and tobacco and that promise spice, and perhaps a touch of white pepper
A gentle oakiness envelops the tongue and puckers the cheeks, before the tropical fruits come through for a long last hurrah.
This really rare bottling is now available in Singapore, at S$2,000
The Kininvie 23 and Ladyburn 40 can be purchased directly from William Grant and Sons. Contact them via +65 6361 2301.