Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Review / King's Inch Single Malt


This whisky is a new single malt whisky that is distilled and matured in Glasgow. The exact location of where it is made is not revealed but the major suspicion is that it is produced by the Glasgow distillery, especially as one of the brand's founders was formerly employed there - Dr. Jack Mayo. The brand is owned by Courageous Spirits, who also own the popular Glas We Gin, and is named after an island that was found in the River Clyde. King's Inch Island is now part of the southern bank following an extensive dredging project. A king's inch was also an ancient measurement of barley. It is designed to be an urban whisky from a city steeped in industrial and artistic history. 

The King's Inch single malt has been matured in both first-fill ex-bourbon casks and first-fill ex-Oloroso sherry butts. It is released at 46% ABV and is non chill-filtered. There are just 5,000 bottles in the first batch and they are available through selected specialist whisky retailers. A bottle will cost £45.

Our tasting notes

The colour is pale golden yellow and the nose is vibrant, fresh and a little hot. Aromas of crisp green apple and sugar syrup rise first along with hints of sultana and cocoa powder. Further aromas of vanilla toffee and white chocolate add a little more weight, but overall it feels quite basic and youthful.

On the palate this whisky is pretty lively and hot on first impressions. Plenty of white pepper and a pinch of warm baking spices (think of cinnamon and a hint of powdered ginger in particular) lead the way and it is not really until these subside a little that other notes begin to come through with any authority. Vibrant green apple and boiled peardrop sweets are joined by notes of vanilla icing, toffee and brandy-soaked sultanas. Hints of candied fruit (think of lime especially, plus some lemon), toasted malt and marzipan follow. The greenness is never far away and becomes slightly more grassy and vegetal towards the end.

The finish is a touch on the short side and packed with peppery heat. This is especially true once the sweeter characteristics have gone. This leaves a hot, drying and mouthwatering feel with the candied lime peel tang returning right at the end.

What's the verdict?

The King's Inch is clearly young and is quite feisty, peppery and vibrant as a result. This makes it slightly challenging to drink neat. However we tried the remainder of our sample with water and ice, and it fared a little better. Water dampened the hot and youthful spice and brought out the green fruitiness and grassy notes. Ice was the winner and made it superbly refreshing  with a nice almost creamy texture. 

We imagine this will be best served as part of a cocktail - we think it would work well in a Scotch whisky highball or something along those lines, or the leaflet our sample came with suggested classics such as the Old Fashioned or Rob Roy. 

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