I often describe Kilkerran as confident, which (as a whisky) it is. But then you would be too if you were being made by Springbank employees a few metres down the road from Springbank.
I continue to love Kilkerran.
Body - Ripe but light, grilled peaches, slightly floral. I've had this without paying attention and it didn't really register, but taking my time with it, it's a really interesting and considered whisky. Take it faster and it just tastes peaty and burnt. Much creamier with water, with tropical fruit retronasally.
Finish - Burnt and cakey, with chewed soil and strawberry laces. It's slightly dirty and peppery with water, with an appealing wax at the end.
A solid, honest cask strength drammer from Kilkerran with plenty of confidence and character.
I reviewed the 12 year old as a 50% vatting sample here last year but not actually got to the official 12 until now. I've had these bottles, one from each of the first two batches, open for a while to allow them both to breath. That's as scientific as I'm going to get. For all I know these are the same original vatting and any differences are due to bottling gaps and time I have them open, but I do like a side by side.
Nose - B1 is big and surprisingly good, I am repeatedly surprised by the nose on this. Sweet but dry and complex, slightly winey and dusty with a nice clay hit. B2 is more restrained, very slightly more ozoney, sour and watery but perhaps a little more mature.
Body - B1 is dusty and sweet, with a really lovely acrylic fudginess and ripe stone fruit - really gentle and delicious. B2 has dusty chocolate, and a little more peat, a little funk and a slightly floral note.
Finish - Very long, peach and vanilla cream. B2 is a little more peppery and more tannic.
I definitely prefer, by a small margin, batch 1. There's a really ripe complexity to it. Batch 2 is just that little bit more peated, hot and peppery, although there is a touch more maturity in the nose.