Whisky Focus - Kininvie Works Releases Its First Three Trial Whiskies

Kininvie Works Releases Its First Three Trial Whiskies

11th October 2019
Kininvie Works the new experimental branch of the Speyside distillery has released three of its trial whiskies, KVSM001 Single Malt, KVSG002 Single Grain and KVSB003 a Single Blended whisky expression all created from different trials from Kininvie Works.

Kininvie Works trial whiskies - KVSM001 Single Malt Whisky, KVSG002 Single Grain Whisky and KVSB003 Blended Whisky.

The William Grant & Sons owned Kininvie distillery which sits in a secluded spot in Dufftown close to its sister distillery, The Balvenie, was established back in 1990, it was not originally intended to be bottled as a single malt but to feed Grant's blends. Even to this day Kininvie produces one of the most reclusive of Single Malts in Speyside. There has been a few very limited special releases bearing the Kininvie single malt label which whisky drinkers have been able to try but they needed deep pockets to taste most of these releases to date so even now it still remains a whisky which most whisky drinkers know very little about and are yet to experience.

So I am sure those of you who like to explore what different distilleries have to offer and experience something off the normal beaten track will be pleased to hear that William Grant & Sons has set up 'Kininvie Works', a kind of new experimental, trialling and creative branch of Kininvie, and they have just released three of their first trials and I am pleased to say all three whiskies have a affordable to drink price tag.

Interestingly the three Kininvie trial whiskies are not all single malts, there is KVSM001, KVSG002 and KVSB003; a Single Malt, Single Grain and a Blended expression all created from different trials from Kininvie Works.

About the three Kininvie Works trial whiskies:

  • Kininvie KVSM001 Single Malt Whisky

    For Kininvie single malt whisky trial Kininvie Works experimented with the distillery parameters to allow a third distillation process, comparable to Irish distillation and a contrast to the normal set-up at Kininvie. Run for one week at the distillery, KVSM001 is the result of this experiment – a 5 year old Single Malt whisky that has been aged in ex-Bourbon casks. The observation of this trial was that shifting from a double to a triple distillation resulted in a floral and fruity character with hints of pear drops.

    Bottled at 47% ABV in a 50cl bottle, KVSM001 has a RRP £35 and is available from Amazon
  • Kininvie KVSG002 Single Grain Whisky

    Quite uniquely for a grain whisky which is normally distilled in a continuous operation in a Patent still, also known as a Coffey still, this grain Whisky was distilled in Kininvie's copper pot stills. Behind this expression is an experiment to explore the different flavour profiles generated by cereals other than the usual malted barley to see if, and how, the addition of malted rye could alter the whisky’s profile. KVSG002 is a 3 year old Single Grain whisky aged in Virgin American oak casks, defined by the addition of malted rye to the mash. What was observed was that the final product had a distinguished toffee flavour along with the classic spiciness associated with rye.

    Bottled at 47.8% ABV in a 50cl bottle, KVSG002 has a RRP £35 and is available from Amazon
  • Kininvie KVSB003 Blended Whisky

    The final release of the range is a Blended Scotch or perhaps you could say a Single Blended Whisky as both the component whiskies originate from a single distillery. The single malt and the grain spirit components of this blend were distilled and matured separately. They then tried different malt : grain ratios to find the right flavour profile – which resulted in a a higher proportion of malt than usual for a Blend. They married the spirits together and filled it back to wood to allow the spirits time to marry before bottling.

    KVSB003 is a blend of a 3 year old Single Grain Scotch whisky with a parcel of Single Malt Scotch whisky both produced at the Kininvie Distillery, aged in Virgin American oak & European casks respectively. It is said to have created a distinct spicy note that balances out the light floral note of Kininvie malt

    Bottled at 48.2% ABV in a 50cl bottle, KVSB003 has a RRP £35 and is available from Amazon

Accompanying the launch of this experimental range is Kininvie Works first White Paper – theorising a potential trial at Kininvie Works. It was written as a springboard for the whisky community to exchange and discuss ideas about potential future whisky experimentations and whether they should be pursued or not.

Titled ‘The Influence of the Continuous Rousing of Spirit on the Characteristics of New Make Whisky Spirit’, this first research work explores how the principle of aeration could be applied to whisky making in a similar way it is used to enhance the flavours of wine, and to understand the possibilities of ‘rousing’ new make spirit before it goes into casks. Developed collaboratively by the Distilling team, its objective is to champion learning and creativity in whisky making and offer a hypothesis about the future of whisky innovation.

With the Kininvie KVSG002 Single Grain Whisky being produced from a mash bill containing 8.6 tonne of Concerto Malted Barley and 1 tonne of Malted Rye and with the Kininvie KVSM001 Single Malt trial where the distillery experimented with the distillery parameters, using a triple distillation process, comparable to Irish distillation, this has made me think why don't they emulate the production of Irish single pot still whiskey and use a mash bill containing malted and unmalted barley then triple distil it in the Kininvie copper pot stills to produce a Scotch Single Pot Still Whisky, now that's an experimental trial I would love to taste.

I haven't yet had the chance to taste the three new young Kininvie trial whiskies so I cannot comment on their quality but if you want to try them for yourself all three of the Kininvie Works trial whiskies are now available to purchase from Amazon

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