William Grant releases ‘first drops’ from Kininvie distillery

28th October, 2015 by Annie Hayes

William Grant & Sons has launched Kininvie Special Release #1, the “first drops” of whisky from a cask that was laid to mature when the distillery first opened 25 years ago.


Master blender Brian Kinsman has hand-selected casks of Kininvie Special Release #1 for distribution in three markets

On the 25th June 1990 at 8.45am, the very first liquid was taken off the still by the stillmen and then laid to mature on the 4th July.

Now – a quarter of a century on – William Grant & Sons’ sixth master blender, Brian Kinsman, has hand-selected three casks of Kininvie Special Release #1, each of which will be released in one of three markets; the UK, Taiwan and mainland Europe.

Kininvie Special Release #1 ‘The First Drops’ has been matured in hogshead bourbon barrels, and is bottled at 61.4% abv.

The supply is made up of less than 1,600 bottles worldwide, and of these just 550 bottles are dedicated to the UK.

Kinsman said: “The whisky produced at the Kininvie distillery is of exceptionally good quality. After twenty-five years, we’re delighted that the liquid is now ready and we can release the very first drops of Kininvie, straight from the casks where they have been maturing since the distillery’s first days.”

Craig Cranmer, the Kininvie’s distillery manager, added: “Being family owned gives us the luxury of patience and means we are able to benefit from the foresight of earlier generations who decided to lay down casks to create exquisite aged stocks. We have cherished and nurtured these casks since 1990 knowing they contained incredible whisky. Now the time is right to share the first drops of our history.”

The packaging has been designed to reflect the “exclusivity” of the release, while keeping in line with the Kininvie brand style.

Copper hues are used throughout, including a copper foil inlay and crafted copper plinth, to represent the copper Kininvie stills – also represented by the underlined number six in Roman numerals, the number of stills the distillery was founded on.

The bottle displays the specific cask and bottle number and is accompanied by an individual certificate signed by Brian Kinsman.

Kininvie Special Release #1 ‘The First Drops’ will be available from November at an RRP of £400.

Kininvie 23 Years Old Batch No. 3


Batch No. 3 was created from liquid taken from hogshead casks and sherry butts that were laid to rest in 1991

In addition to the “first drops” release, William Grant & Sons have also launched a third release from the Kininvie Distillery: Kininvie 23 Years Old Batch No. 3.

The single malt Scotch whisky was created by Kinsman from liquid taken from hogshead casks and sherry butts that were laid to rest in 1991.

The expression is said to have a “distinctive Speyside character”, with “a rich, fruity, floral aroma” and an abv of 42.6%.

On the nose the Batch No. 3 has “slightly less toffee” than Batches 1 and 2 which preceded it, and “more fruity, spring meadow, and floral notes”.

The taste profile, though very similar to Batches 1 and 2, exhibits “less buttery vanilla and oak notes” and instead displays “more elegant tones of orange fruit and blossom”.

Every bottle of Kininvie 23 Years Old Batch No. 3 will display the year of distillation, batch number and individual bottle number.

Cranmer said: “The quality of Kininvie 23 Years Old Batch No. 3 is a result of our patience and devoted care. The popularity of the first two Kininvie 23 Years Old batches demonstrates the outstanding calibre of the whisky we are producing at the Kininvie distillery”.

The Kininvie 23 Years Old Batch No. 3 will launch in mainland Europe, the UK, Taiwan and China.

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