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After production at the new Glengyle distillery began in 2004, the company released a number of "work-in-progress" (WIP) bottlings, starting with the 1st release in 2009 and ending with the two 7th releases (Bourbon Wood and Sherry Wood) in 2015. This review looks at the bourbon cask-matured edition of WIP 7, distilled in 2004 and bottled in 2015 - I am not sure by the way whether this is ten or eleven years old. The WIP 7 Bourbon Wood was bottled at cask strength with a total output of 6,000 bottles.
The nose is intensely malty and a bit spicy to begin with. Next, there are notes of cereal and vanilla, together with cinnamon and orange flavours. Then the lemon flavours take centre stage, followed by hints of salt and cardboard.
The palate is full-bodied, malty, and just a bit zesty. There are plenty of lemon and vanilla flavours, followed by white pepper, vanilla, and again a touch of salt.
The finish is long and a little dry. The lemon flavours appear once more, together with a touch of grass.
I am very, very impressed with this whisky. In terms of its flavour profile I find it to be similar to the 12-year core range bottling, however the high ABV helps bring out the quality of the distillate so much better than the watered down version. It is very smooth to drink despite cask strength and is superbly balanced. If you are a fan of malty and somewhat austere whiskies (I like to call this "old school"), you will love this one. My favourite Kilkerran so far!