[Review] Kilkerran - 12 years old 46%

Once a very popular whisky producing region, Campbeltown went from over 30 distilleries in the 19th century to only 3 today. However, these three, spearheaded by Springbank, seem to have gathered quite a following. The Glengyle distillery, which is of interest to us today, was founded in 1972 but went silent after WWII. It was renovated and rebuilt by the Mitchell's Glengyle Ltd company in the early 2000s and started production again in 2004. So why is the distillery called Glengyle and yet it's whisky is called Kilkerran? Simply because the Loch Lomond group still owns the name Glengyle.

So after a series of 'Work in progress' bottles showcasing bourbon and sherry maturation, they released their first 12 year old in 2016. They have since launched a yearly 8 year-old cask strength, some heavily peated and some 15 year-old single casks, all very well received by whisky enthusiasts across the world.

Today, I am looking at the standard 12 years old. 70% of it has been matured in ex-Bourbon casks and the 30% in ex-Sherry casks. It is bottled unchillfiltered, natural colour and at 46% abv. Sounds like a very good start!

Nose: The first thing I get is lemon. Then it moves to maritime notes, salty, a little vegetal. Green pears, hints of smoke, oak, moss, damp wood and some minerality too. I also pick up vanilla and red berries notes.What a start!

Palate: Zingy and creamy. Again, lemon and pear drops first before it evolves into barley, buttery caramel, some chamomile tea with hints of peat smoke. The texture is rather oily and delicious!

Finish: Coastal, sea salt, a little peat/ash, oak, quite dry. The citrus is still present and lingers around. That's a quality drop in my opinion!

With water: The nose is fruitier and less maritime. The palate gets sweeter but a bit of spice builds up. The finish becomes ashier/drier.

Overall, wow! I think this is probably one of the best 12s out there. What an experience! Probably not for a beginner but if you've journeyed a little in the world of whisky, this single malt will be incredibly rewarding! I am definitely looking forward to more (and picking up some 8 year-old cask strength at some point if I can!)


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