Kilkerran 12 Years Old

Kilkerran 12 Years Old (2021)

What they say

Glengyle is an independent, family run distillery based in Campbeltown, the historic whisky capital of the world.

The original Glengyle Distillery produced whisky between 1872-1925 but in 2004, after 79 non-producing years, the distillery was reinstated by Mitchell’s Glengyle Ltd. This secured Campbeltown’s status as a whisky region.

The name Kilkerran is derived from the Gaelic, “Ceann Loch Cille Chiarain” which is the name of the original settlement where Saint Kieran had his religious cell and Campbeltown now stands. Glengyle now produces a range of Kilkerran Single Malt whiskies, all natural in colour and non-chill filtered. All our whisky characterises typical Campbeltown drams; rich, complex and perfectly balanced.

Our core range includes our signature Kilkerran 12yo, the popular 8yo Cask Strength and the newly released Kilkerran 16yo.

Every stage of the production is carried out in Campbeltown. Crosshill Loch, situated on a plateau of Beinn Ghuilean, supplies fresh water to the distillery. Our barley is traditionally floor malted at our sister distillery Springbank then transferred the short distance to Glengyle. All our whisky is matured and bottled in Campbeltown. Our award winning single malt is produced in very limited quantities, as we are in production for just 3 months of the year, filling approximately 650 casks annually.

Official tasting notes

  • Nose: oak notes are dominant, followed by toasted marshmallows and dried fruit pudding, as well as cherries, marzipan and a hint of peat
  • Palate: initially fruity with citrus notes and orange peel, after this: vanilla, butterscotch,
  • honeycomb and digestive biscuits can all be tasted and enjoyed
  • Finish: 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

Originally released back in 2016, 12 Years after Glengyle restarted production in 2004. I reviewed the inaugural release here. The 2021 edition sees a subtle shift in packaging redesign away from Glengyle’s/Kilkerran’s non-descript straight bottle and into a more Springbank-esque design embossed with the double pot stills and Estd. 2004. So how is this expression performing after 4 years of release. Lightly peated, non-chillfiltered and batched from 70% ex-Bourbon and 30% ex-sherry casks.

  • ABV 46%
  • Age 12 Years Old
  • Bottler Official
  • Bottling Kilkerran
  • Cask Bourbon & Sherry
  • Category Single malt Scotch whisky
  • Cost £40
  • Origin Springbank Distillery
  • Outturn n/a
  • Region Campbeltown
  • Released 2021
  • Vintage undeclared

My tasting notes

  • Appearance 18ct yellow gold (7/20), medium-fine tears and long, fine legs.
  • Nose Sweet, sweeties shop, vanilla, icing, pastries, gentle citrus and some coppery hints, glace cherry, later soft coal dust, wood char, and earthy/turfy peat smoke mixed with barley malt.
  • Taste Medium-full bodied, oily and mealy, unctuous, biscuity barley malt, vanilla, thick caramel, nutty hazelnut, walnut, butterscotch, honeycomb and touches of beeswax, porridge and flapjacks.
  • Finish Long, smooth, creamy lemon curd and lemon cheesecake, salted caramel, prickly peat smoke and liqourice.
  • Overall Smoother and more refined than I last remember, possibly due to slightly older stock being available? Incredibly mealy and cereal led with soft peat smoke pervading later.

Score 87/100

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