I don’t really keep up with whisky news any more and so I don’t really know much about how or why it is that Glengyle released this 8 yo Kilkerran last year. The only other age-stated Kilkerran I know of is the 12 yo (which I reviewed here) and so I’m not sure why they seem to have followed it up with a younger one—isn’t that what the Work in Progress series was for? I guess we should just be glad that they’re putting age statements on their new whiskies.
This is put together entirely from bourbon casks—and as I recall, I quite liked the last Work in Progress release I tried that was from bourbon casks and at cask strength. Let’s hope this one is as good (though it’s a bit younger than the other). I haven’t tried all the Work in Progress releases but I haven’t yet tried any Kilkerrans that I thought were less than good.
Kilkerran 8, Cask Strength (56.2%; bourbon casks; from a sample from a friend)
Nose: Lemon, sackcloth, farmy peat, a bit of rubber. Saltier on the second sniff and there’s a bit of mustard seed as well. With water there’s some vanilla and some cream, and the rubber backs off.
Palate: Sweeter to start and then everything from the nose, expanding as I swallow. The peat is more in the hot tarmac family here. Hot but drinkable at full strength. Some very peppery olive oil joins the hot tarmac with time and there’s just a bit of plastic as well. Water knocks back the plastic too, thankfully, and brings out more of the lemon and the salt.
Finish: Long. The peat washes out slowly becoming more minerally and peppery as it goes. The salt leaves the last impression. More salt and pepper with water.
Comments: Good but not essential for anyone but a Kilkerran completist. I’d never turn down a pour but I don’t need a bottle. I preferred it with water.
Rating: 84 points.
Thanks to Michael K. for the sample! (And here’s his review.)