Kilkerran 8 Year - Port Cask Matured
57.9% / 2022 Edition
Kilkerran Distillery is owned by Mitchell's Glengyle Ltd and is based up in Campbeltown. If you look at a map, it's to the West of the Isle of Arran on the peninsula of Kintyre (see the map below)
It has some rather famous siblings in the family unit, namely Springbank and Glen Scotia, is located roughly 30 minutes from the Mull of Kintyre - now there's a Paul McCartney earworm for you - and its name is derived from the Gaelic ‘Ceann Loch Cille Chiarain’ which is the name of the original settlement where Saint Kerran had his religious cell and where Campbeltown now stands (thank you official Kilkerran website for that last bit of information)
I've had a few Kilkerrans' in the past, but not many. The last one I had was the 8-year sherry cask matured, which was quite frankly, amazing. The latest 2022 release of the sherry-matured whisky appeared holding hands with its sister. Namely this 8 year old port cask matured whisky.
Getting this bottle was not easy. It's clear that people are going nuts over the latest releases from Kilkerran and Springbank. If you look at the news from April 2nd, there are reports of brawls and arrests being made at a whisky shop where a small minority of idiots were jumping queues, barging into the shop, and trying to get their hands on special Ukrainian charity bottles of Springbank - undoubtedly to sell on for profit, rather than opening and enjoying. I call it low-life bell-endery of the highest order. You may disagree. Rant over.
Anyway, I did get a bottle of this particular bottle and I opened it. I've also shared a number of samples out. Sharing is caring and all that...
Appearance: Medium amber with flashes of sunset red. Lines of oily legs run down the inside of the glass.
Nose: Rich chocolate-coated raisins and nuts. Soft but assertive peat rises up. Holding the glass to the nose a little longer, there's now a smokey sweetness, more nuttiness, some fresh grass, a whiff of distant farmyard (the nice, fresh smell, not the other), dirty fudge, and the smell you get left on your hands when you've just cleaned an open fire the morning after. There's a final faint wisp of sourness and some mint, and a soft woodiness.
Palate: Beautifully soft, sweet, and oily. There's not a sign of the high strength of 57.9% as it is so well integrated into the flavour. More waves of rich sweetness gently flood into and around the mouth and cover every part. Maple syrup smokey bacon now appears, alongside a deeper fruitiness like overripe strawberries and blueberries.
Finish: Long and sweet with plumes of fruity, smoked oiliness. Some Digestive biscuits and a warming pepper-fizz finish it off.
Conclusion: Stonkingly good. Easily my CopperedWrench whisky of the month for April 2022.
RRP £60 (at the time of writing) Read more about Kilkerran here