Kilkerran 8 year old, cask strength and is fully matured in oloroso. Bottled at 56.9% ABV this whisky is a BIG HITTER. A predecessor to the 2019 cask strength oloroso and somewhat of a decisive whisky between reviewers and drinkers alike.
Oh it's a biggie!
The RRP was around about £45 to £50 and some shops were ridiculously charging £60. It is non chill filtered and has no added colouring.
So when I first opened this my first dram had way too much sulphur very eggy very sulphuric very off-putting and once I got maybe two to three drams in, it opened up a lot more and that sulphuric-ness went away however straight away on the nose I'm definitely getting sulphur it's not overly eggy it's not horrible it's just a little sulphury. There's definitely spent matches, that chemical reaction that you get when you strike a match, that smell.
I'm stealing this scent off my my girlfriend so I asked her to smell it when I was getting the egg and her nose must not be very accustomed to sulphur or maybe just able to see past it but she got toffee fudge doughnut and there is, there's a sweetness there, a caramel, a toffee and it is a toffee fudge doughnut so that's what I'm going to do I'm going to steal her tasting notes. The charred element is there in the sense of charcoal. You're also getting soot.
There's a jam element to it though as well and a little tarty. I can smell the mince pies yo get at Christmas. It's very complex there's a lot going on.
Yeah it's a little damp, damp kind of grime and just funk in general Springbank, Kilkerran, Campbelltown funk. A dunnage warehouse dirtiness, real earthy and that peat that funky funky peat. It is a funky nose.
Once you get past the initial sulphur which is it's changed as it went down the bottle but once you get past the initial sulphur it's just it it's just a brilliant nose. So much going on so much depth.
Raspberry jam! Burnt something, burnt meat. Let's say burnt steak, yes it's got that iron element that kind of blood element like a rare steak but with a nice charring outside. It's brilliant in the palate, very meaty and dense. There are fruits and dried fruits with sherry.
Oh rubber, burnt rubber or maybe not burnt rubber but if you've got, I think it's an American term, an eraser if you've got a rubber and you're rubbing out pencil or whatever there's that and don't ask me how I know how that tastes, I was a weird child. It sounds absolutely atrocious, why would you want to drink that but it's amazing: the levels of this whisky are just fantastic.
Once again the charring, the soot coming through in the palate. It is sweet you've got those burnt elements but there is a real sweetness to this quite sticky sweet. Demerara sugar, brown sugar for sure.
The finish is long. Once again spent matches on the finish. There's more caramelised, toffee a burnt toffee or toffee sauce something like that very sweet in the finish. It's drying on the finish as well, like a sherry dryness. A little bit of nut maybe nutmeg. A wood element is there too and some more soot.
Before I get into scoring, comparing this to last year or 2019 version, 2019 version from what I can remember was better it was a lot juicier it wasn't as sulphuric it wasn't as dirty for me, a little bit fresher a little bit juicier. I like the dirtiness to this, this to me feels more raw it doesn't feel as refined as 2019's version, it just feels a little bit more funkier a little bit dirtier but I never had a bottle of 2019 so I couldn't say for sure which one I would choose but 2019 version maybe just edges it.
I don't think I would buy a bottle again, although as much as I loved it, these whiskies come out each year and the bourbons are superior for me. Plus, there is no way I would get this anywhere for a reasonable price. I 100% believe that £45 is worth every penny for this whisky and I would even pay as much as £60 for it, anything more is asking too much. Finally, I would recommend trying this whisky as it truly is a tasty dram and one to experience. If you did manage to get £45 what a steal. You've only got to celebrate Springbank, J&A Mitchell's pricing of their whisky. I know this sounds like a fanboy moment but the way they work, how hard they work, majority of the the process they do pretty much everything start to finish and they do it manually the majority of the process is manual obviously there's machines used for certain parts but it's a more traditional way of making spirit and for people not to open their whiskies or people sell them and flip them. It's a little bit of a kick in the goonads but there you go that's life: c'est la vie. This is fantastic whisky if you've got a bottle get it open, get it cracked and enjoy it and share it with your friends. Don't leave it sitting on the shelf and definitely please do not flip it and do not sell it anyhow that's my rant over.
YouTube Review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G17JzQqWmgU&ab_channel=WhiskyWhims
My Scoring Process:
My process is simple. I rate it on three factors: Is it worth it, would I buy it again and would I recommend it? I will the determine if the whisky is a whisky win or a whisky bin. A whisky can have 2/3 of these factors and still be a whisky win. Usually, anything lower than 2/3 is a whisky bin.