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Kilkerran 12 yo (2016, OB, 46%)

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The time has come for us to write about Kilkerran 12 yo. We drank it before we left, we tasted it in Campbeltown and we review it now, in the peaceful setting of a tasting. This is the first core range bottling from the Glengyle distillery after the glorious Work in Progress series: 70% ex-bourbon and 30% ex-sherry casks. It’s the first success by this “satellite distillery”, born in 2004 from a Springbank’s rib under the supervision of Frank McHardy. No frills on the label, at last white after those controversial pastel tones… Are we going to find the same “dirty”, coastal and mineral notes we fell in love with? Or will this first OB give in to an easier profile? To us the tough sentence! 

klkob-12yo

N: big, bold nose! It’s suddenly clear that aromas will change and alternate often. The house-style profile is evident: brine, bacon, a powerful seabreeze, delicate ashes and a sulphury, matches note. It’s peaty (15 ppm) and mineral, it smells like damp earth or wet rocks. Essential lemon oil and a vegetal note (Serge talks about tyhme). Orgasmic. To make everything even nicer, here we have vivid whiffs of almond paste, vanilla, peaches and a hint of sultanas.

P: chewy and oily, it doesn’t show any lack of intensity: salt, sea water, butter and a sulphury note, again. What a wrapping coat of peat, guys! The cereal stands out, corn flakes with some drops of honey. Ginger. The sweetness is always one step beyond, in the background of an elegant malt: lot of edges, lot of honour. 

F: clean malt and dried red fruits. An ashy sensation, like a return to the earth. Man, thou art dust and to dust thou shalt return…

We was looking forward to review this bottling. We have been waiting this moment since we tasted the first WIP four years ago. This 12 yo is exactly our ideal daily dram: an uncommon complexity, an affordable price and the gorgeous roughness of Campbeltown malts. Is this the definitive proof that craftmanship works? Our evaluation is directly proportional to pleasure: 90/100.

Recommended soundtrack: Feeder – Eskimo.

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