Kilkerran 12 Years Old

Kilkerran 12 Years Old (46%, OB, 2016)

Whisky Review

  • Category: Campbeltown single malt scotch whisky
  • Origin: Glengyle Distillery
  • Bottling: J & A Mitchell
  • ABV: 46%
  • Cost: £34.95


What they say:

Released August 12th 2016

After 12 years and a bundle of Work In Progress bottlings, the first core release of single malt Scotch whisky from the Glengyle Distillery after reopening in 2004 is ready! The Kilkerran 12 Year Old is lightly peated and non-chill filtered, and has been matured in a combination of 70% bourbon casks and 30% Sherry casks.


Oak notes are dominant, followed by toasted marshmallows and dried fruit pudding, as well as cherries, marzipan and a hint of peat


Initially fruity with citrus notes and orange peel, after this: vanilla, butterscotch, honeycomb and digestive biscuits can all be tasted and enjoyed


Velvet and smooth with lemon meringue, to conclude, there’s an oiliness and a saltiness that you’d expect from a Campbeltown dram

What I say:

Dramvent Calender Day 7

This December I am attempting to sample and review a whisky everyday for the 24 days of Advent in the run up to Christmas. My very basic criteria as I sorted through my masses of whisky and samples were these:

  1. Single malt scotch only and should be (or have been) generally/easily available
  2. Each day must be from a different distillery
  3. Each day must be equivalent in age or older than the previous

This momentous release from Glengyle represents their first general (i.e. other than Open Day bottlings) age statement whisky, following on from their Work In Progress series presented as paired whiskies either wholly bourbon or sherry matured. Distilled upon reopening in 2004 and matured for 12 years, this expression is married from both bourbon and sherry casks and is a fitting addition to our celebration of #Dramvent2016!


Chardonnay gold with amber depths (7/20), oily & thick tears resolve to fine, long legs


Earthy, peaty and slightly dusty, with hints of brine and sandy seaside, malty cereal barley, spicy and herbal, peat smoke, lemon & rosemary rub on meat, vanilla & mascarpone cheesecake with digestive biscuit base, a hint lactic and a touch of new paint add an air of freshness


Oily and full bodied, mild honey sweetness and slightly spiced, chill and lemon oil, thick & malty cereal barley, herbal rosemary, subtle engine oil dirtiness and oily peat soot/grime, a subtle walnut hint too as a prelude to a more oaky wood flavour


Long, pine wood & peat on a beach bonfire, smoke and malt, with hints of lemon and honey


A remarkable single malt from Glengyle distillery, this Kilkerran 12 Years Old is marvellously constructed and is one I have been meaning to write a review of since buying the bottle. Unfortunately every dram I pour for the purposes of analysis and review gets slowly and quietly consumed while I revel in its pure pleasure. This dram could sit and watch you read a book, in a comfy leather armchair, by a real wood fire and still be there for a sip now and again should you need one!

Score: 86/100

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Categories: Campbeltown, Kilkerran

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