The Tasting Panel magazine

October 2015

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Page 134 of 140

134  /  the tasting panel  /  october 2015 TOP SHELF aspirations to picture postcard celebrity. But inside your atten- tion is soon grabbed by the clean lines and graceful proportions of the stills themselves. For the technically minded, I want to nail the myth that Kininvie is only a still house with everything supplied from its neighbor The Balvenie. On the contrary, the only piece of equip- ment they share is the malt mill. In fact, Kininvie has its own 10,000-liter stainless steel full lauter mash tun next to Balvenie's, as well as ten traditional wooden washbacks, after which the wash is then piped 200 meters to the still house to start the whisky-making process proper. The stillhouse itself is home to three computer-controlled, onion-shaped, steam coil–heated wash stills and six spirit stills. Its current capacity is close to five million liters, although it tends to be run somewhat under full capacity, especially now that Grant & Sons' fourth single malt distillery at Girvan, known as Ailsa Bay, is on stream and producing for the blenders. Perhaps we may see a release from that distillery soon . . . we can only dream. So there we have it: The Rare Casks project brings drinkers an exceptional range of unusual, essentially bespoke bottlings from outstanding distilleries that deserve to be better known. The opportunity to create a personal blend is a rare one; to be able to do so from casks such as these under the guidance of a Master Distiller is not to be missed. To combine that with a visit to Dufftown to see the whole William Grant & Sons complex from cooperage to bottling line is a lifetime experience. Rare indeed and worthy of that name. PHOTO COURTESY OF WILLIAM GRANT & SONS PHOTO COURTESY OF WILLIAM GRANT & SONS

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