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Kilkerran 15 Year Old Single Cask, Bourbon Wood

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@cricklewoodReview by @cricklewood

13th Apr 2020


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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In order to celebrate the 15th anniversary of Glengyle Distillery, the distillery released a series of kilkerran single cask, each aged 15 years and matured (or secondary matured) in one of 5 varieties of casks (Bourbon, Oloroso, Port, Madeira, Fino). Every country would receive its own cask limited to however much the outturn was.

Canada (The distributor in Calgary specifically I suppose) received this 15 yr old bourbon wood versions which bears great similarity to the one released in Scotland, the only difference is the proof point (53.1%) and the outturn (324 bottles) otherwise they both follow the same scheme.

Distilled in May of 2004, matured for 10 years in a fresh bourbon puncheon? and then moved to a refill bourbon Hogshead for 5 years, total outturn 306 bottles at 53.5%

Nose: Sweet round, lovely fruits like melon, green apple, loads of wax almost shoe polish, oak, a bit of coal/ash. It has this lovely mineral backbone, camphor, menthol gel,a slightly rubberry side, then almost ozone like.

Palate: Sweet, ashy, salty, lots of umami, oily fish/coastal, menthol, very mineral, old metal medicine cabinet, a little buttercream frosting.

Finish: citrus rind, a touch of smoke, black earth, waxy, kaffir limes and black cardamom/black pepper.

Blab: lovely, not too harsh, there's great clarity to the the nose, you can pick apart all the layers quite well. The palate is nice and sticky, it borders on almost too earthy but the sweetness and roundness of the bourbon barrel makes it work and elevates the mineral elements.

I am glad to have shared this one on the blind tasting, it's not for everyone but I felt like there was something in this presentation we don't get often in whisky these days. There is sweetness and barrel influence but it doesn't seem to clobber the whisky's character or try and hide it's idiosyncrasies.

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OdysseusUnbound commented

Excellent assessment. The casks don’t overwhelm this one. I suspect that people who don’t care for the taste of 100% malted barley whisky wouldn’t enjoy this one as much as you or I did.

4 years ago 2Who liked this?

cricklewood commented

@OdysseusUnbound Thanks, It's one of those rare instances where the casks are present but not completely dominating. Yeah I can see why some folks even the ones who like Springbank wouldn't like this, I think I am drawn to this kind of whisky more and more, there's pleasure in their elementary nature.

Those fresh bourbon Puncheons have me scratching my head, there's obviously no American distillery touting such a product as far as I know, it's likely a re-coopered cask of some kind. The only other instance I have heard of such a cask was from Mackmyra Head Distillery Angela Dorazio. She mentioned in a whisky cask interview that they have special casks made that are closer to 300L+ that are re-coopered from Ex-bourbon casks. They are used to kind of provide a slower interaction between spirit and cask, since I believe a good bit of Mackmyra's initial spirit was laid down in smaller casks. So perhaps as a way to balance that?

4 years ago 3Who liked this?

casualtorture commented

Need to get me a Kilkerran now. I really like when the underlying spirit is allowed to shine through without a barrel choking out the character of it. Seems like I would like this.

4 years ago 2Who liked this?

KRB80 commented

I'm so jealous of you who are able to get the Kilkerran expressions other than the standard 12 and 8cs.

3 years ago 1Who liked this?

cricklewood commented

@KRB80 We don't normally get too much ib my neck of the woods, this was through a connection.

I'm not sure what the shipping rules are for your state but I'd keep an eye on Third base wine market in California. They usually get a good selection and the Scotch doesn't sell out as fast as the bourbon picks. So there's often a decent selection

3 years ago 2Who liked this?

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