Kilkerran Heavily Peated Batch 3 (2020)
There are many bettn’ter value for money single malts than Kilkerran’s 12-year-old whisky. I should say that’s my opinion, but it honestly feels pretty much like fact. It’s so well-made and offers such a rich experience, that I’m hard-pressed to think of better examples. Sure, it’s a little more expensive than when it was introduced five years ago, but still…
What I mostly love about Kilkerran (and Springbank as well as Benromach) is the embrace of subtlety. You won’t often see me pour a heavily peated whisky, but I find it is hard to beat the lightly or medium peated single malts that are out there. Bowmore is another such example. Strangely enough I’m not all that attached to Highland Park, which should be right up my alley in theory.
Anyway, with Kilkerran being absolutely perfect the way it is, I don’t personally have any need for the ongoing Kilkerran Heavily Peated series. But I understand there’s commercial value to be found. And to be honest, I love me some Longrow, which is Springbank’s heavily peated distillate. So, why shouldn’t a heavily peated Kilkerran be great also? Remember to stay openminded, Thijs.
Kilkerran Heavily Peated Batch 3 (59.7%, OB, 2020)
Nose: Notes of lemon yoghurt and damp cloth, but also sweet peat, honey and tinned peaches. Plenty of vanilla and whiffs of cheese cake, followed by a touch of olive oil and sea spray.
Taste: Notes of cardboard, somewhat drying and ashy, with a big hit of wood smoke and some cracked black pepper corns. Soft oak and slightly bitter. A touch of liquorice root and smoked barley husks. Finally a whisper of charred lemon peel.
Finish: More wood smoke and lemon. Nice salinity.
Fairly unapologetic but also not “just” a peat bomb. It has some personality which makes it a very promising release, although this is in and of itself already very enjoyable.
Photo: The Whisky Exchange
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.