Kilkerran Heavily Peated, Batch 5

As I said on Monday, this week will also be a week of reviews of peated whiskies. But unlike last week’s Caol Ila cluster (here, here and here), this week’s reviews feature peated whiskies from three different distilleries. The week began on Monday with a young Bunnahabhain bottled by the Scotch Malt Whisky Society. I liked that one a bit more than I was expecting to. Today, we’ll leave Islay and head to Campbeltown. Now this Kilkerran Heavily Peated I am expecting to enjoy quite a bit. It’s true I was not a big fan of Batch 1 but I loved Batch 4. Batch 5 should be more in line with Batch 4, right? That’s the hope anyway. Let’s see if it pans out.

Kilkerran Heavily Peated, Batch 5 (57.7%; from a bottle split)

Nose: A bit closed at first but then there’s almond oil, preserved lemon and a mix of mineral peat and coal smoke. The salt expands on the second sniff. With time it’s all about the preserved lemon, coal smoke and brine. Water pulls out earthier notes of putty, wax and burlap at first and then the pineapple from the palate emerges. With time it’s the preserved lemon that wins out again.

Palate: Leads with peppery peat and brine here with the preserved lemon and sweeter fruit (peach, pineapple) threatening to burst out as I swallow. Very approachable at full strength with oily texture. Continues in this vein with the peppery peat and the preserved lemon. The sweeter fruit stays coiled under them. Let’s see if water lets it out. Well, it brings out more brine and pepper and preserved lemon but not the fruit. Let’s give it some more time. Yes, with more time the peach and pineapple come out to play, along with some savoury notes (ham brine). The smoke expands as well under it all.

Finish: Long. The sweet fruit expands a bit but then the peppery smoke and brine take over. Develops as on the palate with time and water, with waves of fruit and smoke.

Comments: I’m happy to report that this is in the vein of Batch 4 but even better. If that fruit had come out more fully this would be in the next tier. As it is, this is like a very good Longrow but at a lower price (probably). I’d be very happy to have a bottle and am tempted to look for one.

Rating: 89 points.


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