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I had this buried amongst the samples (and I am finding the time to tackle the backlog). Perfect evening for a Campletown whisky. Will this be good being a work in progress or a botched experiment? Only one way to know. Oh! the pains we must endure for the greater good.
After an initial alcohol blast, the nose slowly settles in revealing vanilla cream soda and cherry pie. Though those two aromas are inviting and rich, any other aroma is difficult to discern. Being patient, the candy with juice (I had to lookup what they are called: Nik-L-Lips) are sensed along with apples, pears, apricots and honeysuckle.
Viscous and dense, the arrival is surprisingly sweet; candy-like. Salted caramel, milk chocolate, dark chocolate. Prickly as it settles on the palate with fresh ginger root and wood spices rides and fades to the finish.
Water only sweetens the whisky making it almost too sweet. It’s natural state provides for a better balanced dram.
A slightly woody and dry palate remains with hints of char, white pepper and unsweetened dark chocolate.
My second Kilkerran thus far. The 12 year was fantastic. This WIP is a respectable pour. I would drink this repeatedly and with gusto. What holds it back from being a breakout star is that the spotlight is centered on sweetness and does not have a supporting cast. Depth of flavors would push this over to a higher level. Comparatively, to me, this is a borderline Irish whiskey closer to Green Spot, which makes sense given its proximity. Though it may sound overly critical, that is only that it holds potential to become a greater whisky. Hence, I surmise, a Work In Progress. Thanks @Telex for the sample from ages back. [88/100][Tasted: 6/24/22]
This is another Kilkerran sample sent to me by my friend @Telex. This is from the Work In Progress series and was matured in ex-bourbon wood. It’s bottled at a cask strength of 54.1%. It’s light gold in the glass and produces tons of legs when you spin it. It’s NCF’d and has no added color. I only jotted some notes down while drinking this one because I drank it alongside the 8 year casks strength. This will be a quick review.
The nose was vanilla, oak and cherry cola and there was just a hint of peat mingling in the background. The palate was similar, but with a harder oak wood presence, which was expected. Some vanilla notes appear around mid sip after the heat faded. The finish was long, spicy and very warming. It was a bit abrasive as well.
I’m not sure what Jason paid for this bottle, but I don’t think I’d buy one. I was relatively pleased with the sherry cask WIP line and I think their malts work better when they are finished in a sweeter type of cask. 3 stars. Cheers.
Life just isn’t freakin’ fair. It really isn’t. After having that surprisngly good Glenlossie as part of the standard tour offering from @Telex , I now close out round 6 with this final pour, again courtesy of @Telex . So...that’s one hell of a surprisingly good pour followed by this one which I expected to be good. It’s like having that night with your college girlfriend and her best friend, only to have later next day a rendezvous with an ex-girlfriend. You simply shouldn’t be allowed to have two nights back to back like that. So goes this pour. I expected it to be good. I went in knowing what the pour might hold. Caramel, dark chocolate. A bit of smoke. Earthy smoke, not briny. Yeah...it’s good...but I expected as much. Afterall, it’s a Kilkerran.
Another of the bonus samples from this current round of the SDT. This release from Kilkerran (Glengyle distillery) is part of their Work in Progress line that lead up to the release of their new(ish) 12 year old. This one is a cask strength matured in ex bourbon casks. Bottled at 54.1% ABV and is non chill filtered and natural color of dark gold.
The nose is most powerful with a huge alcohol hit up front. Once it settles down a little some vanilla and cherries come to the forefront with a little buttercream. I had to add a fair amount of water to get past those first few notes. Mineral notes and an occasional waft of smoke. Cherry lozenges and some floral notes, lavender, honeysuckle and cherry blossoms. Fresh cut oak, lightly fruity, apples and pears. Slightly vegetal and a dusty/musty cardboard.
The palate is all heat and spice without water. I added 4mL to the 30 that I poured and it toned down nicely. I picked up something in a scotch I never expected to find, the very strange and unique profile of Detroit based Two James Spirits peated whiskey J. Riddle. It’s a very mineral and earthy type of peat. Chalky, a light smoke. Light vanilla and cherries/ cherry cough syrup.
Medium to full bodied, HOT and quite oily.
The finish is medium long, vegetal, herbal and lightly peaty.
A very strange dram and quite different than what I remembered from the WIP 7th release sherry wood I had way back at the beginning of the SDT. I can’t say that I like it and I can’t say that I didn’t. Campbeltown profiles are so very different than the rest of Scotland. Not sure yet if they are my type of dram. I suppose I will need more to form a better option. Thanks to @Telex for the sample. 3.75
March 18, 2018 (edited September 10, 2018)
4.0 out of 5 stars
YUM!!! Being a huge fan of the Glengyle distillery, I wanted to jump in this bottle as soon as possible. The nose brought out cherries up front, and not the maraschino type. Bright snappy ginger with subtle woody notes, graham crackers and some vanilla sweetness. Not too hot on the palate neat even at cask strength. A couple drops is beneficial here, and brings out a Jello Pudding Pop cherry/vanilla swirl balance and taste. Great finish on the shorter end, but still a solid 4.25. The theme to this dram is "Cherry Blossom Girl" by Air.
January 14, 2018 (edited September 10, 2018)
4.0 out of 5 stars
You don’t have to stick your nose far into the glass to get waves of creamy vanilla. Get closer and you’ll find hints of burnt matches. Drunk neat, there are rich caramel flavors that go down way too easy given the strength. A teaspoon of water brings out polished wood and dark chocolate on the nose. The taste is smoother and the finish is long and silky. If Kilkerran 12 is a perfect dram for the warmer months, then this is its warming winter companion. A work in progress that is far better than many a finished product.