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As I gave the 6th Kilkerran Work In Process (commonly known as the WIP VI) a solid 91, you can imagine I was very excited about the new cask strength release. An opinion apparently widely shared as the WIP VII sold out in stores in no time. So to my deep regret I never got my hands on a whole bottle to replace the pink Glengyle in my cabinet. However I was able to purchase a sample of a fellow malt enthusiast.
Let’s see if this Kilkerran is as genius as its predecessor.
Description: The seventh annual release of Glengyle is a 11yo (2004/2015) single malt, matured in Bourbon barrels, bottled at cask strength 54.1% ABV.
Nose: is farmy in style (looks like grandmother Springbank had some influence in the making of this whisky), certainly less fresh than its predecessor. Main notes of yoghurt and citrus, some soft peat smoke with a certain saltiness to it, limestone and cardboard. (with water added: brings out a more maritime profile.)
Mouth: a rich, oily but clean texture. On the palate a mix of white pepper, lemon peel, leather and mineral elements
Finish: long and lingering with a smoky touch, mainly tastes of rust and pepper.
Verdict: in short a class-act but another beast entirely at heart. The fresh clean citrus spirit of WIP VI has been swapped for a more familiar Campbeltown profile. It is back to the farm with WIP VII, but it still has its own unique touch that separates it from the Springbank family. It is most refreshing to see how versatile Glengyle can be. A true testimony to the skills of the stillmasters of Campbeltown. Best try it at cask strength, water will reveal nothing new.