Kininvie / Hazelwood


Kininvie distillery in the Speyside town of Dufftown was founded as recently as 1990 by Willaim Grant & Sons Ltd, the owners of Glenfiddich, Balvenie and the very recent Ailsa Bay distilleries.

Bottlings of Kininvie are quite rare as most of the production is reserved for Grants' blended whiskies, but an official 15y edition was released in 2006.

There have also been a couple of 'unofficial' IB vatted bottlings which were said to primarily include Kininvie single malt.


Kininvie has a production capacity of just under 5 million litres of pure alcohol per year. A couple of expressions have also been bottled under the Hazelwood label.


Distillery photos with kind permission by Teun van Wel

General whisky characteristics: Sherried, rich fruit, slightly dry & bitter at end.






Kininvie, 17y, 42.6% ABV

Batch No.1, bottle No.27668, 35cl

Matured in US Oak & Sherry Casks

Typical cost of this bottle: €€€€€ (but 35cl)


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Rich gold / pale oak

Nose: Initially something mildly metallic and fruity followed by a more distinct suggestion of apples which reduces the initial metallic-ness to a distant memory, thankfully! Wait a minute, the whole thing is now remiscent of those popular (UK) custard cream biscuits whilst suggesting a sweet and sour-ness.

Palate: Very green and very bitter. I'm talking bitter green apples reducing the sides of the palate to waterfalls. Just a quick note to say this improved with 4 drops of water when it turned much less sour but was then a little too watery.

Finish: Long and green.

Overall Impression: This is all very green in an apple and also Synaesthesiatic way.



Kininvie, 23y, 42.6% ABV

Batch No.2, bottle No.9934

Matured in a mix of Hogshead & Sherry Butts

Typical cost of this bottle: €€€€€ (but 35cl)


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Rich gold / pale oak

Nose: A faint aroma of oakiness, it's quite musty, almost mushroom-y and then, wait for it ..... coal tar soap?

Palate: I'm getting not too much more than mild liquorice, maybe liquorice root then some good old childhood fairground brandy snap suggestions leading into the finish.

Finish: Medium to long.

Overall Impression: I like the musty oakiness and brandy snap, but even though it's totally not 'green' like the 17y, it's still rather underwhelming.







Hazelwood, distilled 9 Aug 1990, bottled 28 Feb 2008, 17y, 52.5% 105 proof

Janet Sheed Roberts edition, first public release, bottle No.117

Typical cost of this bottle: Unknown but already a rare collectible


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Rich amber with a tinge of copper

Nose: Dark cherries, raisins and currants marinated in a cocktail of burgundy and cognac. With time a slightly sweet woodiness and car polish appear, followed by coffee beans and dark chocolate.

Palate: Creamy sherried overtones with a rich dark fruitiness comprising dark cherries and creme brulée seem to dominate the front of the palate, although there are hints of that coffee and chocolate at the back of the palate.

Finish: Unwittingly long, slightly dry and rich fruity woodiness.

Overall Impression: Not only is this quite rare but also quite unusual as it has many sherried overtones alongside a fruity dryness and clear coffee & chocolate notes. At first I placed it as a medium finish but then it just kept on repeating .. and repeating ... and repeating .... in fact it's this slightly dry and maybe even slightly bitter long finish that if anything, let's it down just a little.









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