Sunday, July 27, 2014

Kilkerran Work In Progress 6, Bourbon Wood, 46%

It took this bottle three days (from the time of ordering from whiskybase) to arrive in Australia. It then took another 25 to reach my house. This is extraordinary incompetence, even by Australia Post's standards.

Anyway, the tyranny of distance and all that.

Kilkerran. From Glengyle. Working their way to a 12 Year Old release. This one (it is assumed, but we are nowhere actually told that) comprises 10 year old whisky from bourbon barrels. Like last year, there is an accompanying Sherry Wood release as well.

I have really enjoyed previous Kilkerran releases. Last year's WIP 5 proved to be popular among many others too - Serge in particular loved it - but I know there are others who have yet to fully warm to it. Florin, for example, has told me on Twitter that he likes it but finds it too sweet - (SPOILER!) this one aint gonna be changing your mind on that front, alas, Florin.

Kilkerran Work In Progress 6, Bourbon Wood, 46%

Nose: A very immediate nose, it jumps right out at you from the first pour. Initially sweet, with something savoury and herbal going on in the background. There's lots of lush, heathery peat too. Some salt and oil as well. Soot develops and begins to assert itself after further time in the glass. A touch of malt vinegar and soy sauce too, perhaps, after even more time.

Palate: A whole lotta honeyed-fruit sweetness. But it's spicy and salty too. A lovely slippery mouthfeel, building in waves from front palate to back. Clean. Very clean. A strong background note of peat lending solid support. And after a while a waft of smoke, too.
Water smooths out some of the spice, while brightening up some of the fruit.

Finish: A seamless transition. There's a bit of ginger ale as it develops, together with chocolate and orange. It's quite long and intensely focused. Smoke actually builds through the finish, while a wisp of ash finally carries it out.

I really like this. In fact, I think I may even prefer it to last year's. It does seem sweeter to me though - but this may just be Florin's Jedi mind powers.

It's got such great depth of flavour and character for a 10 year old malt. It certainly bears a lot of the familial traits of its bigger Campbeltown brothers - the peat profile is eerily (and deliciously) similar to Longrow (although not, I hasten to add, as heavily peated), while the oily maritime notes take you instantly to Springbank - but ultimately it's just a very, very good drink in its own right.


  1. I'm happy to report that on retasting I like this even better. It's still curiously sweet, but not in a bothersome way. The Campbeltown complexity, with linseed oil and stewed fruits and that tug of war between savory and sweetness, is there and trumps everything. Lovely whisky!

    1. Hi Florin!
      Yes, I'm really enjoying this one. It is a little sweet - I reckon you're right - but the complexity and integration - and sheer deliciousness - contrive to make it such a good drink.