Kilkerran 15 Years Old Fino Wood (Bresser & Timmer)
To celebrate the 15th anniversary of the opening of Glengyle distillery as well as the birth of Kilkerran single malt whisky, a slew of single cask bottlings were released by the distillery. All of them 15 years old and all distilled in the first year of production.
There’s a total of 12 single casks, but some have been split up and divided between countries. The Netherlands, my home country, received a Fino Wood bottling. Although not a fully matured Fino sherry maturation, mind you. However, it wasn’t a Fino finish either. This whisky rather matured in reverse, sort of.
Instead of starting its life in a common bourbon cask, it ended its life in one. For the first 10 years, this Kilkerran was tucked away in a Fino cask, while it spent the final 5 years in a re-fill bourbon casks.
Usually, I find that sort of re-racking not a great sign, because it often means the spirit was (in danger of being) overpowered by the wood. Let’s hope the course was corrected in time for this 15-year-old Anniversary Edition.
Kilkerran 15 Years Old (51.6%, OB, 336 bts.)
Nose: Interestingly savoury, with notes of cured meat, soy and brine, but also a whiff of resin and pine needles. There’s a touch of triple sec and smoked paprika powder too. The whisky has a light ashiness to it, but also a fruitier side with brambles and strawberries, as well as a subtle note of Maraschino cherries. Decent complexity.
Taste: So there’s a whiff of struck matches to start, but it doesn’t derail the whisky — not entirely at least. Charred meat, peanut skins and strawberry compote. However, the sulphur does outshine… No wait, that’s the wrong term: The sulphur does suppress most other flavours for me though.
Finish: More of the above with a touch of chocolate. Long.
While very different from this old Banff I reviewed recently, this is another whisky with a big discrepancy between the nose and palate. The sulphur is just a little too present for me, while the nose has an intensity and somewhat old-school quality to it that I really enjoy. Not a rousing succes, but far from a failure either.
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.