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Kilkerran is a work in progress, meaning it is not yet ready for its grand release as a single malt. It is a single malt already, of course, for it is already 10 years old. This release, with a rather ugly pink label on the bottle, arrives in both a bourbon and sherry matured variety. I will put them head-to-head, starting with the Bourbon Wood.
I immediately get citrus and malt on the nose, with a twig of mint and loads of porridge. Gooseberries, green appels and a lot of pears. Slowly but surely this evolves towards dried apricots. Caramel and vanilla. And of course a bit of peat, but very discrete.
The body is more than fine. Even oily. Pretty sweet upon arrival, vanilla taking the lead, before the fruit kicks in. Quite peaty, though! I had not expected this after the soft nose. Walnut pie, should such exist. Touch of rubber, though. Evolves towards exotic fruit, even. Mango? Papaya? Agrum? Nice.
The finish is fairly short, but quite pleasant on spices, smoke and walnuts. Maybe even some white chocolate and almonds at the very end.
The nose was somewhat shy, but on the palate it opened up beautifully.