Translation: Valley of the Quincy
Where the cows are happy.
The Glenkinchie distillery is located in a pretty little valley between the Lammermuir Hills and the seaside resorts of the Firth of Forth, around 25 kilometers outside of Edinburgh. Even today, this area is characterized by lush green meadows of agriculture and livestock. In the 1950s and 60s, the then distillery manager was known for his cattle breeding on the side. He fed the animals with the remainders of the distillery. That must be good for them: The cattle have been awarded multiple prizes ...
A little history
The distillery was founded in 1825 under the name Milton in 1825 by the brothers George and John Rate and renamed in 1837 Glenkinchie. "Kinchie" is Lowland dialect for "Quincy", the name of the family that once belonged to the country where the distillery stands.
In 1853, the rate brothers went bankrupt, the distillery was sold and temporarily converted into a sawmill.
It was not until 1881 that whiskey was again produced under the direction of a consortium from Edinburgh. In 1890, the newly founded Glenkinchie Distillery Company took over the distillery and extensively renovated it over several years.
In 1914 Scottish Malt Distillers (SMD) purchased Glenkinchie. Between 1917 and 1920 the distillery, like so many others, was closed.
The malting floors were closed in 1968 and converted into a whiskey museum in 1969, where you can see various interesting exhibits. Among other things, a model of the distillery, which had been built in 1924 for the London Empire exhibition.
In 1987, the distillery went to United Distillers & Vintners (UDV) and now belongs to Diageo. Glenkinchie represents the Lowlands in the Classic Malt Range and is today one of the last still producing distilleries in the region.
What do I actually have in the glass?
The Glenkinchie is rather unusually powerful for a Lowland Malt and has a fine spice. Typical Lowland though: the fruity notes, citrus and fresh grass.
3 reasons to love Glenkinchie
1) Because the Lowlands also offer highlights.
2) Because even the remnants used as cattle feed win prizes
3) Because in the Lowlands there is not much left to love for whiskey friends.
The one drama for the lonely island
The Distillers Edition, matured in Amontillado barrel, shows how complex and soft a Lowland Malt can be.
numbers and facts
Address: Pentcaitland, East Lothian EH34 5ET
Founded: 1825 by George and John Rate (from 1837 as Glenkinchie)
Capacity: approx. 2,000,000 liters
1 wash still (30.963 l)
1 spirit still (20,998 l)
Water: Lammermuir Hills
Visitor Center: Yes
Telephone: +44 (0) 1875/342004