Review No.174. Kilkerran 12 Year Old

Kilkerran is produced at the Glengyle distillery in Campbeltown and is owned by the same folk that own Springbank distillery and associated brands such as Hazelburn and Longrow.   The distillery was purchased in 2000 and this 12 year old represents their first core entry release.  Like with other brands owned by the group, this single malt is bottled at 46%, natural colour and not chill filtered.  Kilkerran is a peated whisky and matured 70% in ex bourbon casks and 30% in ex sherry casks.  Springbank have a good reputation for producing characterful whiskies with integrity (no colouring, chill filtering) and of course as a result prices have creeped up and availability has become more scarce.  This Kilkerran is reasonably priced at around £35 but is not stocked on supermarket shelves so you will have to go to your local specialist retailer or online.


Whisky: Kilkerran 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky, 46%

Nose: Light ash, rubber, baked apples, cinnamon, honey, citrus, sea salt

Taste: Barley sugar, lemon, vanilla, butterscotch, orange, earthy ash, malt, oak

Finish: Citrus, ash, sea salt, oak

Score: 3.75

Summary:  Another peated single malt that is a hit with me.  Similar in some ways to the Ledaig 10.  This is clean, crisp and sharp and has quality all over it.  The nose mostly translates onto the taste and the what you have is a wonderful mix of earthy peat, citrus and spice.  There is a strong coastal feel to this and it balances nicely with these characteristics.  Some of the malt comes through which is a welcome addition.  It is worth experimenting with different amounts of water to find the level that suits you as the aromas and flavours can come across quite pungent to begin with.  I found that with a drop of water and about 10 minutes this softened it all up and really showed the off the flavours to full effect.


Scoring scale: My scores reflect a balance of the overall experience, availability and cost for a whisky,

1 – not to my preference

2 – tastes fine but does not excite me

3 – more to my liking and would revisit occasionally

4 – very much to my liking and would consider as a regular feature on my whisky shelf

5 – permanent feature on my whisky shelf


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