Kilkerran 12 years

Review 2017-078 «Specifics»  Single malt • 46.0% Alcohol • Matured for 12 years in 70% bourbon and 30% sherry casks • Non-chill filtered • Natural coloured • Mitchell’s Glengyle Distillery • Campbelltown • Scotland • 9,000 bottles • Price ±€50 • Whiskybase #85213

STORY. The oldest, yet newest, distillery in Campbeltown, restarted by the owners of Springbank. After 7 times a work-in-progress, we are finally allowed to taste the real stuff. And we have been waiting a long time, with a lot of anticipation.


APPEARANCE. Classic design, yet original. Simple, but sophisticated. Just love it. Contents is a beautiful light golden colour, which lights up with Scottish myst when you added some drops of water.

NOSE. Rich and complex. Begins quite sherry-esque, which develops into more earthy notes. Broken branches, falling leaves, a damp forest floor. It remains surprisingly clean , crisp and fresh though.  Then something vegetal. Avocado, guacamole, and a hint of red pepper, even some tequila? Has somebody from Campbeltown been to Mexico lately!? After while a summer sea breeze rises, which brings sea salt, and a freshness so clean that you almost feel it in your face. Intertwined in all that there is some sweetness, sugared pear drops and almonds, fresh pears. More earth warmed up by the sun. Herbs like rosemary, some mint. Layer upon layer upon layer upon… I do not really find any peat as they promised in their tasting notes, hmm, finally something to criticise.

TASTE. Full, but certainly not overwhelming. Here I do get a hint of the peat. I am back in the forest, twigs, leaves, wet forest floor, mud. Hint of liquorice, and very salty. Loads of sea salt. Salty peat, wet peat. Some cabbage, roots, and ginger. The background fills with a slight fruitiness, sweetness, hints of vanilla, raisins, dried fruits, cinnamon cake, nuts. Well it is completely nuts, it is that good. Finish is bitterish with ginger and probably some horse radish, and did I mention it is fresh and crisp?

VERDICT. Great spirit, and great (meaning not that overwhelming) cask influence. The dirty side of bourbon and a thin coating of sherry then matured under the influence of the sea. I could go on about this for a long time. Ok, I won’t. Just the mark for now.

Recommended for convincing people who don’t believe new distilleries can make awesome whisky.

A bottle of this was purchased from!

«What others say»

  • @Whiskybase: Mean score of 86.74 (595 votes)
  • @whiskynotes: “An old-school dram for sure, although it provides enough rounder notes to balance its straightforward, unsexy side” Score: 88/100
  • @Ralfy: “The spirit is driving the development in particular” Score: 90/100
  • @malt-review: “There’s a purity about the whole thing: the branding is unfussy, uncluttered; the whisky is classic, perhaps old styled”
  • Serge @whiskyfun: “I find there’s something ‘old Springbank’ to this baby that goes straight into my personal pantheon of readily available large-batch malts” Score: 90/100
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