Origin: Campbeltown (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing casks: Ex-Bourbon
Added coloring: No
Owner: J & A Mitchell & Co Ltd.
Average price: € 72.00
Official website: kilkerran.scot
Great thing, Cask Strength whiskies.
Whisky is bottled as it is straight from the cask, with its original strength and without the addition of water to lower it to the desired strength (commonly 40%). This in itself is neither a bad nor a good thing: there are whiskies that perform better with a high (if not original) alcohol content, others whose aromas and scents stand out better with a more subdued alcohol content.
On the other hand, if the alcohol content is too high for your taste in the glass, there is nothing stopping you from adding a few drops of water: sometimes (often) this small gesture opens up new aromas and flavours in the distillate you are about to drink (and it’s interesting to try it both before and after, to note the differences).
High alcohol is obviously not synonymous with quality, and whiskies can be ‘wrong’ at any alcohol level, but I personally like it when they are bottled as they come out of the cask: natural colour, no chillfiltration and no dilution.
Glengyle is Springbank‘s sister distillery, and although both are young (but, as always, with deep roots in history), they try their hand at both innovative and traditional production, with universally recognised results.
In particular, this distillery (whose bottlings bear the name Kilkerran due to a question of homonymy between the Glengyle brand and Loch Lomond) doesn’t have many expressions, but those they have are often (if not always) interesting to say the least.
It starts off very well from the colour, a lovely bright golden yellow, a real pleasure to admire in the glass, better under natural light.
And even with its high alcohol content, it doesn’t sting on the nose, while a dance of earthy, herbaceous aromas rises, grafted onto a soft and sweet, almost buttery peat. It’s truly amazing that you don’t feel the almost 56 degrees, especially when you think of other lighter whiskies in which the alcohol instead bites right from the aroma.
On the palate, the peat is accentuated, the grass is bathed in sea water while remaining in the area of vanilla sweetness, with a touch of dried fruit and apple. Again, alcohol that enhances and doesn’t cover, accompanying the aromas with an elegance that, given its young age, can only surprise. Close your eyes and enjoy all the flavours that envelop your mouth.
At the end, the peat accompanies you for a long time, always with its marine note and a hint of sweetness. The empty glass to sniff with voluptuousness.
A full-bodied whisky even in its youth, it may not excel in complexity, but it makes for a satisfying, smooth drink, obviously for fans of peat and saltiness.