Glengyle distillery is owned by the Mitchell family...who also own Springbank. Call it naiveté but that was enough to get me to buy a bottle. It's not cheap for a 12 Year Old, even by Ontario standards, but name brand recognition goes a long way, I guess. I may have to stop criticizing THE Macallan and its customers if this keeps up.
- Nose (undiluted): Green apples, fresh cut flowers, candied ginger, salted caramel, a little vegetal funk (Peat?) in the background, just a hint of smoke developing
- Palate (Undiluted): richer than expected, with a delectable waxy texture, ripe pears, a touch of smoke, a bit of orange zest
- Finish: medium length, a touch of nuttiness, hazelnuts maybe, then milk chocolate, yielding to a little minerality (slightly chalky), charred lemons, a touch of pepper and ginger lingering, ending on a light vanilla note.
With water, there's less waxiness, but a bit more smoke coming through. However the flavours aren't as clear with water added. This is definitely better neat. The bottle has changed over time, with the waxiness fading and the smoke becoming more prominent. If I buy another bottle (quite likely), I believe I'll use Private Preserve, as I really liked that waxy component. But it's always a worthwhile experiment to see what time and air exposure do to a whisky. I probably would have rated the first 1/3 of this bottle about 89-90 points. After a few months of air exposure I still like it, but not as much as before, maybe 86-87 points. So I'll split the difference here.
Hmm...Am I the only one who actually prefers the Kilkerran 12 over the Springbank 10? They are both phenomenal and the best drams at their respective pricepoint for me; akin to 1a and 1b. They both are unmistakenly from the same family tree as well but the K12 just hits on something unexplainable for me. There is so much going on and it changes with each dram poured from the bottle. The SB10 seems a tad artificially sweet compared to it (Don't overblow this statement, however).
I also prefer the K12 over the K8CS. I'm on my 4th bottle of K12 and saving one bottle of the 1st release for years down the road if I get there. While I did like it, I wasn't that blown away with the K8CS bottle that I had (1st release) but am eager to buy another bottle and it give'er another whirl.
I'd say that the K12 is my favorite single malt under $90, where at that point the crown goes to the mighty SB12CS.