One Kornog. Two Kornog. Yes, this is just the second review of a whisky from Glann ar Mor – a distillery in Brittany, France, that also goes by the name of Celtic Whisky Distillerie. Then again, it’s a niche whisky for a niche audience, and their whiskies aren’t widely available outside of France.
And yet, this whisky is gaining a cult following. They’ve some influential supporters. Serge Valentin of Whiskyfun is one. He’s been vocal about his fondness for Kornog, which is the brand name for Glann ar Mor’s peated spirit. Angus MacRaild too. He actually bottled the only other Kornog I ever tasted.
And now Sukhinder Singh, co-founder of The Whisky Exchange, shows his approval by bottling a single cask in celebration of his family’s 50th anniversary in the drinks trade. It’s a Kornog 2016 6 Years from a Pedro Ximénez sherry butt. Still available here.
Kornog 2016 6 Years Pedro Ximénez (60.5%, OB for The Whisky Exchange, 2023)
Nose: A soothing, coastal type of peated whisky. Mellow, friendly, and inviting. Even at 6 years of age. Hints of wet wool, kippers, oysters and lemon pith, along with gentle notes of sea breeze, farm stables and asphalt. Almost annoyingly mature. And even some notes of cumin and a certain earthiness. Fascinating. Water adds a mineral freshness. Taste: Yes, super oily. A good few twists of the pepper mill, but also green-ish, leafy peat with just a tinge of cocoa powder, peanut skins and lemon. Also some almonds, dark spices and charcoal. Finish: Long with hints of tobacco, soot and a pinch of salt.
An impressive depth for such a youngster, anybody could mistake this for one of the southern Islay whiskies. Well, maybe not Laphroaig. If the upcoming Portintruan Distillery manages to produce something of similar quality, I'm sure Sukhinder Singh will be well-pleased.