Kilkerran Masterclass, Warehouse 10

Glengyle is Campbeltown’s newest, oldest distillery, originally founded by William Mitchell in 1872.

Glengyle distillery entrance.jpeg

The distillery was sold in 1919 and closed from 1925 onwards until Hedley Wright [not Henley Wright, who’s name came up in yesterdays blog, thankyou tOMoH], great-great grand nephew of William Mitchell and current chairman of J&A Mitchell, bought the old buildings right next to Springbank.

The distillery officially reopened in 2004. Further reading: kilkerran.scot.
So why the name Kilkerran?

Kilkerran place mat.jpeg

The Loch Lomond Group officially owns the Glengyle name [along with a stack of others]. Furthermore, Glen Scotia [currently owned by LL SW], had previously sold a French-branded blend called Glengyle. The LL group had offered the Glengyle name to the re-opened distillery. but they decided instead to start a fresh and go with Kilkerran [from Gaelic – Cill Chiarain], the original name of Campbeltown.

According to our host David Allen, Kilkerran’s distillery character is a sweet, sweaty & [apple] fruity, yeasty barley spirit with a decidedly different peat profile to Longrow with a farmy identity. It shares the same 8-10 ppm levels as Springbank – same maltings in fact. [This tasting happened in May 2018].

 

[Glengyle] Kilkerran 12yo [2018] Ob. 46% WB85.82[19] [WF]90 WR91 [ralfy90] Blog190

Comprised of 75% bourbon & 25% sherry cask maturation.

Kilkerran
[pic from 2016]
  • N: This possesses a wonderfully fresh/crips yet relaxed [apple cider, pineapple cubes, melon, all sorts really] fruitiness. A super well rounded nose with a hint of peat.
  • T: To taste, very much the distillery character David Allen described with the perfect ppm level. A little water brings out the best in body, mouthfeel and form.
  • F: Finishes to form. Impeccable.
  • C: What a start it’s been for Kilkerran.

Scores 89 points

 

I guess we tried this second, due to the abv differentials.

[Glengyle] Kilkerran 8yo [2017] Ob. CS 55.7% WB86.57[164] [WF]91 [Ralfy90]

I tried another CS batch bottled earlier in 2017 [Score: 86]. This is now almost 9 years old and 80% bourbon-matured.

Kilkerran 8yo CS 55.7%.jpg

  • N: Hugely likeable. The distillery profile is rather similar to the 12yo, though this is evidently younger and sweeter with leathery icecream, icing cream & sugar candy notes. With the malty farmy>dunnage tones, there appears to be a little more peat than the 12yo.
  • T: I love this farmy-smokey profile with an almost mineral/metallic austere edge. 
  • F: Follows on through nicely from the palate.
  • C: An excellent 8yo though the extra 3/4 year wait is worth it.

Scores 86 points

 

[Glengyle] Kilkerran 2006/2018 Un-Ob. triple distilled #2 bourbon barrel 62.1%

Kilkerran 2006 62.1%.jpg

  • N: Much like the previous 8yo with light ripe summer fruits that hint at a possible & desirable malt-lactose pong/decay development. Furthermore, there’s a lovely slightly sweaty yeastiness alongside floral perfume/Cologne wafts – clynelish-y >>  Mortlach-.y.
  • T&F: Sweet sticky-ish fruits [apples>melons] with that farmy character and rum-like banana yeasts.
  • C: I like! Though distillery character is maintained, triple distillation won’t be a regular fixture for Kilkerran in the future.

Scores 87 points

 

[Glengyle] Kilkerran 8yo [2018] Ob. Open Day 2018 [1020 bts] 58.4% WB87.43[49]

Kilkerran 8yo Open Day 2018 58.4%.jpg

  • N: With help from a recharged sherry butt, we have a pungent fruity peaty number that will be popular amongst the ‘Vikings’ I’m sure. More specifically, I got fermenting cider, sweet cheesy cream, hessian dunnage pastries and a little unbaked Fimo. It’s nicely leathery and malty too with rounded vegetal peat, less farmy than the previous numbers.
  • T: With a decent delivery, it’s decidedly peaty and char-y and really needs water, lots of it. Not sure there’s much going on travel-wise thereafter, but the initial hit is overwhelming.
  • F: Short, witch hazel-clean finish.
  • C: A classic showy festival number, one that arrives with a cask-finished fanfare and fizzles out shortly after.

Scores 84 points

 

[Glengyle] Kilkerran 2004 13yo Un-Ob. Madeira cask 14/378-22 53.8%

Another experiment using spirit distilled in Glengyle’s re-opening year. This has seen in 10 years in Madeira, the remaining three in bourbon.

Kilkerran 2004 13yo Madeira 53.8%.jpg

  • N: A funky fruity peaty one that reminds me of Laphroaig’s PX [blog]. We’ve reoccurring distillery character notes of cider [and some putty dunnage-hessian], a little apricot and an almost grape/olive oil-dryness with a soft pungency.
  • T:  Controlled sweaty-sweet fruity peaty funk, though water is needed to bring out the subtle linseed/olive/mechanics oils, and fruit-infused oils – all subtly dunnage-y.
  • F: We have cider and lots more fruits besides with peas at the death.
  • C: A really fun one that works just fine.

Scores 85 points

 

[Glengyle] Kilkerran 2015/2018 Un-Ob. Heavily peated spirit bourbon HHD 105 60.5%

Three months shy of being a whisky, at time of writing this was due to be released 3 months later as a heavily peated Kilkerran single malt. The initial ppm count was at 50ppm, but they expect 2/3s of the phenols to disappear during the entire process.

Kilkerran 2015 peated spirit.jpg

  • N: I love this leathery, oily, vegetal number, a touch fruity yet more briny with olives & olive oil.
  • T: Boom, vegetal>sweaty peat served! Unsurprisingly, very new make-y.
  • F: Squidgy, oily distillate shines through.
  • C: Kilkerran Octomore anyone? Lots of people thought it was too young and they’re right, but boy is it a promising 2.75 year old.

Scores 82 points

 

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