Distillery stories: Kininvie

One of the youngest distilleries in Scotland, Kininvie was built in 1990 on the site of sister distillery, Balvenie.

Consisting only of a still house, Kinivie existed to fulfil the demand for malt experienced by owner William Grant & Sons.

Kininvie is sort of like that awkward family member that no one really wants to talk to but everyone has to, since they’re family and all that.

It did have its own stainless steel lauter mash tun as well as its own washbacks, but the liquid used in these was piped directly from Balvenie, since Kininvie did not have its own mash house.

Being completely computer operated, the fermentation process at the still house operated 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

This allowed Grant’s to create enough malt to supplement the demand for their blends, as this is where almost all of the Kinivie malt went, particularly into the Clan McGregor blend.

It was also used in the widely popular Monkey Shoulder blend. This blend also includes malts from Balvenie and their other sister distillery Glenfiddich.

Until 2014, there had only ever been two bottlings of Kininvie single malt, under the names Hazelwood 105 and Hazelwood Reserve 107.

These were released to commemorate the birthday of Janet Sheed Roberts, the grand daughter of William Grant, and also the oldest women in Scotland, up until her death at the astonishing age of 110. Glenfiddich also released bottlings in her memory.

Of course, the Hazelwood bottlings would need to be completed and bottled at Balvenie, so some say the term Kininvie Single Malt can’t really apply. Again, Kininvie seems to play the part of that awkward sibling who steals your thunder at every turn.

Despite this, a Kininvie 17 Year Old was released in Taiwan duty free in 2013, mush to the disappointment of many global scotch fans that had been waiting for such a release for many years.

But do not despair! As of 2014, the 17 Year old became globally available, and is now out there to be consumed by anyone eager enough to find a bottle.

Perhaps with the release of the Kininvie 17 Year Old, the “little still house that could” may just see a surge in popularity and as with all malts, only time will tell!

Tags: DrinkWireKininvieKininvie 17 Year OldKinivie maltMonkey Shoulder blendScotland


My name is Greg, and I’m a brand strategy consultant, writer, speaker, host and judge specialising in premium spirits. My mission is to experience, share and inspire with everything great about whisky, whiskey, gin, beer and fine dining through my writing, my brand building and my whisky tastings.

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