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, ending with the Sherry Wood.
The nose is sweet, dark and mysterious. The peat is completely drowned out by the sweet sherry, coming in the shape of strawberries, water melon, roasted nuts and raspberries. The spices present are cinnamon and liquorice, but they play second fiddle. It seems to be mildly perfumy. But not disturbingly so.
It is oily and spicy on the palate with obvious sherry influences such as nuts, rhubarb, chocolate and even some tobacco. The peat now becomes a bit more powerful. It is a bit piquant on pepper and liquorice. Hint of espresso. Midpalate it turns to fruit with the emphasis on dried exotic fruits, which I can appreciate. Mango? Papaya? Agrum? I had these in the bourbon matured version as well. Must be the spirit, then.
The finish is medium long with the espresso returning. Nice development of smoke as well. Good.
I find this version slightly less good than the bourbon matured cousin. Both bottles can be bought for less than 50 EUR, so they are worth a try.