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Whisky Tasting Debrief: Kilkerran

Kilerran Whisky Tasting Evening

Our tasting evening this month was hosted by Kilkerran from Glengyle Distillery on the 19th of September. Kilkerran is a fairly young whisky as production only began in 2004 but the history of Glengyle Distillery dates back to 1872. Therefore, alongside 2 of their current products, drams included sold-out limited-edition bottlings, work in progress bottlings and a cask sample for an upcoming release! Melanie told us the history of the distillery and how it came to produce Kilkerran whisky as well as each poured dram.

Did you know at Glengyle Distillery, they are only in production for 1 month of the year? The rest of the time, the team are working at Springbank Distillery just along the road!

Glengyle Distillery 1Glengyle Distillery, Campbeltown

The Drams

First up, the Kilkerran Triple Distilled, from 100% bourbon maturation. This was initially released a few years ago as a festival release for the distillery opening day. With the bourbon maturation, the vanilla and sweetness come through on the nose and even more on the finish. A very soft peat on the nose, which turns into quite a heavy peat on the palate and finish. The peat then smooths away into more of a foam banana note. Melanie explained to the group that the spirit goes into cask around 64-65% and in the bottle at around 60%, the alcohol really does cascade into the finish of the whisky. When this bottling was released, it certainly wasn’t enough for demand. If you’re a fan, Kilkerran did triple distil again a few years ago so there will be another batch of Kilkerran Triple Distilled out over the next years.

Next was a Work In Progress bottling – Sherry (Oloroso casks). This particular WIP was released back in 2014 but the series has continuing since 2009. Again, limited bottles available for these WIP bottlings. Very heavy earthiness and grassy on the nose, notes often associated with the sherry casks. On the palate a lot more fruitness comes through as well as a slight woodiness. This dram wasn’t too heavy on the peat neither on the nose, palate nor finish like the first dram. A really enjoyable dram for those sherry cask fans.

The third dram was one of the bottles currently available at The Clydeside Distillery, the Kilkerran 12-year-old. The whisky has spent 70% in bourbon and 30% in sherry casks. The whisky is bottled at 46% and relatively sweet and fruity. The finish is a little bit salty, which hadn’t come through on the first two, however still expected with a Campbeltown malt. Whilst the group enjoyed the third dram, Melanie explained how it took 4 years after the purchase of Glengyle Distillery to get the distillery up and running and this was Glengyle’s first core release.

Glengyle Distillery 2Glengyle Distillery, Campbeltown

The only other Kilkerran whisky available for purchase at The Clydeside Distillery was the 8 Year Old Cask Strength. This whisky is matured 100% in bourbon casks and non-chill filtered. At cask fill, ABV is 63.5% then bottles strength at 56.5%. The cask strength essentially means the nature of the whisky when it comes out the cask is how it goes into the bottles. The sweetness comes through on the palate – strong notes such as fudge, toffee and vanilla. Looking at the whisky in the glass, you can definitely view the oils but doesn’t come through much in the taste.

Next, a distillery exclusive only available in their shop at Glengyle Distillery, the Kilkerran Rum Wood, selling at £89. There was only 300 bottles available which is now currently sold out. This whisky has been in bourbon for a certain amount of time as well as it’s majority in rum casks. Quite an interesting whisky with a mix of tropical, sweet notes then a significant amount of peat coming through as well as a fair bit of alcohol (strength at 53.2%).

To finish, the group ended on the Kilkerran Heavily Peated Batch 2. Keep your eye out for this release in October 2019, there will only be 9,000 bottles - so be quick!! Again, it is cask strength and the alcohol does cascade in on the finish. Whereas, the palate is relatively sweet and more of those bourbon influences come through compared to the first batch that was released.

Join us for another incredible evening next month, which will be hosted by Glenfarclas. Purchase tickets here. Hopefully you will catch some amazing views along the Clyde like the below!

Kilkerran Whisky Tasting