Kilkerran 8 CS, Batch 6, Sherry Cask


Following a week of Kilchoman and a week of Jamaican rum, let’s do a week of Kilkerran. As you may know, Kilkerran is not the name of a distillery but the brand of whisky produced at the Glengyle distillery in Campbeltown. (See here for why the whisky produced there is sold under the name Kilkerran and not Glengyle.) Glengyle is owned by the same people who own Springbank and made in much the same way. Or at least so I assume as I find a lot in common between the whiskies produced at Springbank and the Kilkerrans I’ve tried—I suppose you could put this down to terroir if you believe in it in the context of whisky. The one I am tasting today is the sixth batch in their Kilkerran 8 CS series. I’ve previously reviewed Batch 1 (ex-bourbon), Batch 4 (re-charred oloroso sherry) and Batch 5 (first-fill oloroso sherry). Batch 6 is also from sherry casks but there doesn’t seem to be any further detail on cask type specified. It was released earlier this year which makes this quite a timely review by my standards. Let’s get into it.

Kilkerran 8 CS, Batch 6, Sherry Cask (58.1%; from a bottle split)

Nose: Roasted malt, rubber gaskets (think old medicine bottles), cocoa. With time a bit of earthy peat comes through along with some dried orange peel and then quite a bit of salt. With more time the earthy notes soften a bit and some toffee begins to come through along with some gingerbread. A few drops of water unlock brighter notes of orange and apricot and push the gingerbread back.

Palate: The salt is to the fore here along with the earthy notes; a bit of savoury gunpowder as I swallow. Quite approachable at full strength with rich texture. Continues in the earthy-salty vein. More pepper with time and more of the dried orange peel; some Marmite too. Okay, let’s add water. Brighter here too with water, with sweeter orange; a bit more of the savoury gunpowder too and quite a bit more of the brine.

Finish: Long. In the same vein as the palate: salty, earthy. A little spicier here. Develops as on the palate with time and water.

Comments: This is sherried whisky that is firmly in the Campbeltown style—that is to say, not a sherry bomb in the stereotypical sense but instead driven by earthy notes. You could have told me this was a Springbank and I would have believed you. I liked it from start to finish but liked it more with water.

Rating: 88 points.


 

2 thoughts on “Kilkerran 8 CS, Batch 6, Sherry Cask

  1. I love this sort of earthy, funky, dirty unpeated sherry cask profile. Hoewver, it’s become so hard to find Campbeltown malts these days though. What are other distilleries doing the next closest thing to this? I’ve found some Tobermory OB cask strength releases to come close- curious to get your thoughts as well.

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    • Springbank/Longrow, of course—but you probably already have them in mind. Elsewhere, I think you can find bits of this complex in some Taliskers. With Ledaig and the Islays the phenols tend to dominate the earthy notes.

      There is definitely some peat in this though—just not phenolic peat.

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