Category Archives: Pinwinnie Royale

Pinwinnie Royale 12-year-old

Bought – Online Whisky Auction, 31st December 2013

Ratings:
85/100 – Whisky Bible 2006

A discontinued blend, this 12yo version of Pinwinnie Royale is one of two principal releases, the other being a no-age statement (but there might also be a ‘deluxe’ version of the latter, which I’ve also seen).

Although both these mini bottles are the same 12yo, they have a difference. One expresses its age in Roman numerals (XII) and the other in standard metric (12). The Roman numerals are what I’m used to seeing on a bottle of Pinwinnie. The bottle with the ‘12’ on it says on the label that it was imported to Kentucky. This makes me wonder if the label was changed from XII to 12 for the American market. Perhaps Roman numerals aren’t big in America?!

Getting a good mark in the Whisky Bible 2006, Jim Murray says of this 12yo blend “finely-textured and attractive throughout with great spice finale”. Sounds nice to me! My difficulty now is deciding which bottle to drink and which one to keep in my collection. XII or 12? Hmmm.

Pinwinnie Royale 12yo 2x5cl

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Pinwinnie Royale (no age statement)

Bought – Online Whisky Auction, 31st December 2013

Ratings:
83/100 – Whisky Bible 2006

A discontinued blend, this NAS (no age statement) version of Pinwinnie Royale is one of two principal releases, the other being a 12-year-old (but there might also be a ‘deluxe’ version of this blend). From what I can find out online, the Pinwinnie distillers handed over the blend’s production rights to Inver House. I’m not sure when this happened but Inver House began life in 1964 and there does seem to be bottles of Pinwinnie Royale around from that period. If they have “bottled in Airdie in Lanarkshire” written on them (as my one does), Airdie is where Inver House head office is. What’s confusing is when you find a bottle of Pinwinnie Royale that says it was bottled by Blairmhor Distillers, who are also based in Airdie. Same company perhaps?

Inver House own several distilleries which include Old Pulteney (Highlands), Balblair (Highlands), Knockdhu (Speyside), Speyburn (Speyside) and Balmenach (Speyside). It’s said that the majority, if not all of Pinwinnie Royale is a blend from some or all of these distilleries.

What annoyed me during my research is the number of whisky auction houses that say the Pinwinnie Royale is “very rare and long since discontinued blend” when it’s constantly appearing in auctions! I’ve found this blend everywhere! Although I don’t know when Inver House stopped producing it, Jim Murray was still reviewing it in 2006. He calls this version “an absolute classic!”

Pinwinnie Royale NAS 5cl