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Unfortunately there are not many distilleries left in Campbeltown but the ones that are there produce such a variety of different whisky characteristics and styles that it almost compensates for the lack of individual distilleries. Of course Springbank is the dominant distillery of the region, (Springbank, Hazelburn, Longrow) and then it has its 'sister' distillery Glengyle which is kind of anchored to the main Springbank campus. This is where Kilkerran is produced - I'm not actually sure if it is a full autonomous distillery in its own right of if Springbank control it. And of course let's not Glen Scotia - a distillery I have hardly ever tried but think I will investigate in the not too distant future.
This is a NAS Kilkerran and judging by its name 'Work in Progress' I think this is not intended to be the finished product, (let's think along the lines of Ardbeg Very Young, Still Young etc). General word of mouth though is that this is 8-9 years old.
Nose - Quite a sharp tangy peatiness but underlying that is a touch of rubberiness that I'm not keen on. It is OK, but you can tell it's a young malt. Mellows a bit to red fruits after time and becomes a bit more pleasant.
Palate - Briney smoke, chocolate, plums and red berries. Better than the nose would suggest. Full bodied - actually very impressive in view of its young age.
Finish - Slightly sweet. Then drying. Medium in length and quite prickly.
Difficult to summarise and score really - I didn't like the nose too much but the palate and finish were excellent, especially when accounting for the youthfulness of this. At £30, it is also decent on the price/quality ratio. Interested to see what happens to this in the next few years.