Kilkerran 12 Year Old (2016)
The Kilkerran 12 Year Old was released in August and was most certainly one of the most anticipated releases of 2016. For seven years us whisky nuts were able to follow the development of the Kilkerran-spirit through the Work in Progress-series. And now we’ve finally reached the point of the official 12 year old, the first core range entry for the Kilkerran-brand.
Kilkerran is produced at Glengyle distillery, which was revived back in 2004 and is a sister distillery of Springbank. And like Springbank, they’re doing pretty much everything ‘the right way’, meaning maximizing quality is what they aspire to most, instead of maximizing profit. Their Kilkerran 12 Year Old is decently priced at 35 pounds/50 euro. It is a vatting of 70 percent ex-bourbon and 30 percent ex-sherry casks.
Kilkerran 12 (46%, OB, 2016)
Nose: Lots of minerals (wet rocks) and a slight waxiness, with a subtle amount of peat. Very clean and fresh. Vanilla, lime and lemon zest, with a pinch of white pepper and licorice. Perfectly balanced.
Taste: Salty and savory with a fair amount of peat (although we’re still far removed from Ardbeggian levels). A nice and rich mouthfeel. Chalk and licorice root chew sticks, with subtle lemon juice and pepper. Wonderful.
Finish: More of the same, but with a touch of aniseed. Long!
Might this just be the best entry level single malt whisky out there? I have trouble thinking of a better one.
Thijs is a spirits writer and accredited liquorist from The Netherlands. He runs the blog Words of Whisky and contributes to a number of Dutch and international publications.