I’m still waiting for my bottle of the inaugural Kilkerran 12yo to arrive so in the mean time here’s a bit of homework courtesy of their Work in Progress series.
Kilkerran Work in Progress 4 (OB, 46%, c. 2012)
Colour: Hay Nose: It doesn’t smell young. I’m getting bourbon casks but I know this is a mix of sherry and bourbon matured whisky.Sweet malt with fresh fruit and spices. Followed by pear, hay, and wax, developing a lemon oil note with water Mouth: Oh, you can tell Springbank are behind this. The arrival has sweet fruits, tinned peaches, pineapple sherbert and wood spice, then the heavy Springbank signature kicks in. It’s hotter than the nose suggests. Finish: Creamy cocoa Comments: An auspicious start to this tasting. Thoroughly enjoyable. A bit hot on the mouth but this is young whisky after all. Swims well. 88 points.
Kilkerran Single Cask 2006/2015 (OB, 57.3%, c. 2015)Colour: Burnished Gold Nose: Alcoholic. This is cask strength but the nose suggests the cask hasn’t had much impact on this burly spirit. With a bit of time citrus fruits come through, digestive biscuits and pineapple. I’m not getting the calvados on the nose Mouth: Powerful. This needs water and patience. After the a swim this starts to yields a sweet agave arrival turning bitter, herbal. Lots of parsley. With more time and more water you start to get leather notes Finish: Red chillies Comments: Don’t forget your water glass for this one. I don’t think the cask did what it was meant to do so an interesting choice for a single cask release. Still young and certainly not tamed yet. 82 points.
Kilkerran Work in Progress 7 Sherry Wood (OB, 46%, c. 2015)
Colour: Gold Nose: Very distinct sherry notes. Sweet toffee, stewed apples, chocolate and a few blueberries Mouth: Noticeably more mature straight away. The wood has done the job. Dark chocolate and something savory – Marmite? Whatever it is it works! Finish: More chocolate Comments: It feels like this whisky has hit maturity. This isn’t as complex as the WiP 4 and I think that’s because of the absence of bourbon casks. There was a cask strength bourbon matured WiP 7 which some reviewers have raved about, but good luck getting your hands on that now! 86 points.
Kilkerran is shaping up to be an outstanding single malt. True to the ethos of their Springbank parents, Glengyle distillery have managed to produce a modern single malt that is firmly old-school in character. I can’t wait to get hold of the 12 year old!