"Very, very good and absolutely no disappointment this time, despite the high expectations. Compared ot the 12-year-old, more sweetness and slightly more peat"
(Photo from Whiskybase)
My thoughts often wander during the practice of nosing and sipping my regular dram. So I was thinking, when testing the subject of today’s review, that we should applaud the works of Kilkerran. I mean, many of us already did that, but still. The high quality and distinctive character already displayed in their series of work-in-progress bottlings, and epitomised by the release of their first aged-statement-containing release, the brilliant 12-year-old, is amazing and an example for any new distillery. The latter is still a regular sipper and favourite here at WhiskyWobbles headquarters. Expectations have risen to such a high degree that I was slightly disappointed by their previous 8-year-old cask strength version, which I scored “only” at 85. But you should always give anyone a second chance, right? So here it is, their second batch of the 8-year-old cask strength.
A tropical fruity start with oranges, papaya and tangerines, followed by moderate sense of peat. My first impression is that it is quite different from the last batch, but since I have nothing left from bath 1, I have to do it from memory. It could be a cross of those Irish fruity independent bottlings with the typical Campbeltown character. The development goes into greasy candies (like someone dropped a sweet on the ground of an automobile repair shop, an increased earthiness, floral notes (honey suckle), citrus rasp and a hint of liquorice. The peat smoke is always there to supplement the others. Only now I realise that the smoke reminds of something very familiar, that is Talisker, with salt, bandages and sea air. Overall the nose is very interesting and well composed.
Powerful, complex and upfront peat. There is more energy compared to the nose, and the peat is on top now. Beautifully dirty, greasy and oily and a sense of high quality rum (maybe Bellevue). There are kippers, orange liquor, graphite, and the right amount of dirty fudge. These are supplemented with herbal notes. An almost perfect balance is achieved with the bourbon cask sweetness perfectly integrated into Kilkerran’s spirit. In addition, there is a bitter edge to counter the sweetness to make it even more interesting.
Very, very good and absolutely no disappointment this time, despite the high expectations. I think this certainly adds something different to their 12-year-old standard bottling, with a higher degree of sweetness and a slightly higher amount of peat. I am already looking forward to whatever the people at Glengyle distillery will come with next. You will read it here, no doubt.
Thanks for sharing the sample,
• these are my personal views, so do not take them too seriously… nothing beats tasting these for yourself •