Campbeltown Week began with a 8 yo Glen Scotia on Monday that I really liked. Here now is a 9 yo from the Glengyle distillery whose whiskies bear the Kilkerran name. Released in 2013, this was part of the fifth edition of their Work in Progress series that followed the distillate till the eventual issue of their standard malt. Until the 4th release these releases had been singular; with the 5th release they doubled, with a Bourbon Wood release and a Sherry Wood release. I’ve had most of the Works in Progress releases over the years but for some reason have only reviewed the Bourbon Wood releases from the 6th and 7th releases. If you need more info about Kilkerran/Glengyle, by the way, you should read the intro to my review of the 6th release. I should note here that even though the name of the distillery is Glengyle, I use the Kilkerran name in my category listings as I’m guessing that’s the name most people look for. I have yet to try a Kilkerran I did not like and so I have high expectations of this one.
Kilkerran Work in Progress 5, Bourbon Cask (46%; 2013 Release; from my own bottle)
Nose: Ah classic Springbank goodness…(yes, I know it’s a different distillery). That is to say, coriander seed, lemon, sackcloth, paper and a damp earthy sweetness all mixed in together with just a whiff of smoke in the background. As it sits there’s brine (both maritime and ham) and the lemon turns to sweet orange. With more time still there’s some malt and some sweet cocoa as well. A few drops of water emphasize the peat and bring out bitter notes that provide a nice counterpoint.
Palate: As predicted by the nose plus with pepper and some carbon paper. Wonderful depth of texture at 46%. More fruit with each sip. With time it’s maltier here as well with that sweet cocoa coming through. Okay, let’s add a bit of water. More peat and more bitterness here too with a few drops of water—the malt and the sweet cocoa recede a fair bit.
Finish: Long. Some more salt and some graphite here but otherwise it’s all the great stuff from the palate slowly easing out (with the salt building as it goes). As on the nose and palate with water.
Comments: Call it Longrow and call it exceptional for its age. And really it’s just excellent for any age. Again, this is just 9 years old. And I paid $60 for the full bottle back in the day (and probably thought it was too expensive for a 9 yo whisky).
Rating: 90 points