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Whisky Reviews for Kilkerran 16-year-old
42 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 87.68 points
- The eternally tiresome price problem ... RRP 79 €. Very fair PLV, which unfortunately is passed on from only a few to no dealers due to the limitation.
- Mmmmm, this is my stuff! Thanks Kilkerran for making almost exclusively ex-bourbon masterpieces like this one. Reminds me of the discontinued Balblair 1997-2013, lots of fruits, great texture, good finish.
In these dark times of ludicrous multiple casks maturation and finishes, all hail Kilkerran for persisting in making....WHISKY!
- Some say this is very much like the 12 yo expression, only more rounded. Both share the same characteristics (the grassy-earthy funk, the lemony and lemongrass notes, the subtle peat…) but where the 12 yo really shines in its combination of complexity and youthful freshness, the 16 yo does brings a substantial and noticeable depth in character and flavor to the table . A stunning dram
earthy, soft peat, herbal elements (sage, parsley) with a soft funk and some sweet cheese. But there ‘s more. Lots more! Exotic fruit (peach, pineapple, mandarin), vanilla, baking sugar & vanilla sugar, and hints of wine (marsala casks?) with at the back some lemony citrus notes almost leaning into a soapy element. And while this is very much a busy bee, it’s all in a relaxed, unobtrusive way. None of the flavours are screaming for attention, meaning that what we’ve got here is a very well rounded, complex yet accessible nose which keeps evolving and changing as you go. It’s as if there’s’ a whole parade of flavours and sensations playing leapfrog as they go back and forth.
things start of again with a bit of a dirty/earthy-grassy note. There’s something of a mineral touch here, some clay even and subtle fruit (citrus mostly) with a mild hint of peat. A drop of water highlights the earthy notes as they become more lively, bringing out a salty note as well, while the citrus notes now evolve more towards oranges, with even some grapes (again the marsala casks, perhaps?) in the mix.
dry and long, with a clay note, salty and oaky with (dried) citrus-lemony notes. A drop of water prolongs it even further, and brings out the salty note to center stage, only adding to the pleasure.
- Tasting notes:
Scent: Burlap, vanilla bean, deep cave atmosphere (I'm a speelunker), celery juice, caramel, fresh silk fabric, cement floor warehouse as well as dunnage dirt floor warehouse (casks mixed in this batch), wet muslin coastal curtains, wet sand, ocean breeze, crosshill loch. Touch of peat, really nice.
Taste: very wide expansive vista compared to the 12; turbinado sugar icing on short bread, vanilla bean, negative ion and ozone after thunder shower, breeze over wet grass, seashells, crosshill loch water. Subtle peat that seems creamy and moorish. This dram has a creamy quality in the mouth, almost like delicious fatty globules in fresh dairy milk from a recently milked single milk cow (not homogenized batch milk).
Finish: medium, mouthwatering, aesthetically desirable in a zen-like way. Subtle, earthy, pleasantly lacking in mass production directives such as come through in Glenmorangie products, which are overtly pleasing but artificial and therefore not full bodied and not old skool like this dram. I choose old skool. Sorry Dr. Bill even though your jokes are funny during presentations, especially live and in person.
-------- afterward reflections and questions -----------
I'm confused. There is some uncertainty over the smidge of sweet wood that went into this bottling, i.e. what sort of wood it is.
The distillery statement is also vague. Is it Madeira or Marsala? It makes a difference to me. My fave sweet wood that goes well with Springers or Kilkies is Madeira.
From Springbank's newsletter:
"As many of you will know, in March we marked Glengyle Distillery’s 16th Anniversary. Excitingly, we are now launching our first ever Kilkerran 16 year old and it is a beauty. Our Kilkerran 16Y/O is predominantly matured in bourbon casks and continues to develop all the classic Kilkerran characteristics we know and love."
Springbank is my favorite distillery on earth, and Glengyle is also up there. Or else I would not care a wit.
As Depeche Mode once sang: "Everything counts in large amounts," but if the small amount is enough to tweak the large, then it's worth sorting this out. I see others have weighed in. Are there two releases? One big with marsala and one small with madeira, both at 46%? I'm lost on this one guys. And, grateful as I am for a 16 year release, I wish it was up at 48% instead. I know 46% is the standard OB level for Springbank and Glengyle, but still. A few extra percentage points could make such a difference to me. But on the bright side, 46 is better than 44 or 43, which is a bummer, or 40, gods forbid, which really sux unless the bottling is super old. Then it can still be grand.
And I know that both distilleries are very good with special indie cask releases at cask strength, so knock on cask wood, I hope to get some in the future. There's always the auctions. Fighting the teaming hoardes for indies is not worth the bother to me. Such a buzz kill.
- unreduced version for malt festival tasting 49.2%. to be revised on official release. There is a 2% madeira version floating around but I think this one is the one they've bottled?
wavering between 7 and 8/10 on first impression, leaning to the latter particularly given the price
waxy, coconut macaroon with jam, tropical 'fruit leather', pencil shaving, mild ginger, slightly sooty, slightly farmy. lovely, frankly old school and reminiscent of some older springbanks.
lively, I don't think the reduction to 46% will do it any harm. lemons, icing sugar, soot, dunnage floor, mineral oil, going on medium with mild barley sweetness. it's not that complex, but there's a great purity and classiness here with an old school charm.
- A good standard with nice Campbeltown characteristics that is more suitable for drinking rather than nasal engagement.
Maritime smoke, mineral citrus notes, quite straw-like, metallic ash barrel, with water everything merges a lot more into one another, much more harmonious, I now feel like I'm being transported to the distillery
Pleasant and citrus-heavy start, tangy, oak spice with a lot of astringency, creamy lemon cake, with water a little more harmony
Oak spice, again a lot of lemon peel, warming finish
First impression is fresh and even a little sharp. Lemon, vanilla, smoke, pineapple, cummin and honey. It takes a while for the marsala to peek through and mellow it down, a little blueberry.
Vanilla, peat, peach, orange and honey. This appears much more mellow and mature than the nose.
Orange, peat, vanilla and litchi.
- Mild smoky nose, nice fruit, some wax, apple, honey. Fresh in the mouth at the beginning, then sweetish. Herbs are slightly more peaty and more sweet and spicy than on the nose, not particularly strong, light acidity. Short finish, peat, paired with herbs and fruits.
Not particularly complex, but clean, sweetly smoky bourbon, where I can only easily recognize the Marsala in the finish. Good drinking whisky and recommended for the price if you like the style. Personally, the sample is enough for me. Not 100% my style and I also prefer barrel strength :)
- Again high quality as expected... Rock-solid classically handcrafted Campbeltown Whisky. Still best value for money (~75 £).