There is much to learn about Kilkerran, and it’s a quite exciting project – a spin-off from the Glengyle distillery. I must confess that I was not a fan of its packaging, coming as it does in a rather dull brown, simple tube. Then I realised – how silly of me – that it was all part of the ‘work in progress’ theme, and I duly began to appreciate it much more.
In 2016, they will release a standard 12 year old bottling of this whisky. For now, however, ‘work in progress’ it is! The quite intriguing fact about this dram is how different the nose is from the taste – even those who have never tried whisky could easily point it out.
The nose is bright and full-on, the taste intricate and delicate; the big and salty hit of grain on the nose is replaced by toffee, orange and gentle vanilla on the palate. The beurre blanc is nowhere to be seen after its initial olfactory appearance, and perhaps the only similarity between what the nose and mouth experience is the delicate heather sweetness. Whereas the nose is akin to a steam train storming out the glass, the taste is almost as gentle as it’s possible to get, certainly in relation to what is experienced when nosing.
It’s a challenging and complex whisky – I found it exceptionally enjoyable nonetheless, so it’s certainly one to try if presented to you. As such, the numeric total here does not matter, for it seems an absurdly low score for what is a unique dram.
Nose 19 Taste 18 Finish 19 Balance 22