Welcome to the third installment of our regular Whisky Under Fifty reviews, where we review a different whisky (or whiskey) that you can buy for less than £50! If you’d like to know more about what we’re doing with this series, read our introduction post here. Today’s whisky is Kilkerran 12 Year Old.
Longtime Dram Teamers will recognise this release from a tasting box a while back. It’s always been a staunch favourite of ours thanks to its affordable price, coming in under our £50 budget with room to spare. However, don’t let the wallet-friendly bottle mislead you: this whisky is chock full of flavour and quality.
Kilkerran is the brand name for the whisky that the Glengyle distillery releases, and is the sister distillery to much more well known Campbeltown distillers, Springbank. Modern legend goes that the Campbeltown region – once one of Scotland’s most concentrated whisky-producing areas – was in danger of losing its regionally recognised status. Then Glengyle Distillery opened in 2000. Again having the requisite three distilleries, Campbeltown became Campbeltown again. Campbeltown whiskies were once renowned for their pungency, complexity and oily, maritime character, and Kilkerran is a sure representative.
Marzipan, fruit cake (sort of Christmas-cakey, in a way), touch of earthiness like a straw-covered floor. Juicy cherries and a hint of lemon cheesecake.
A whack of stone fruit and sweet citrus up front, followed swiftly by an ashy brine. The smoke drifts in softly, like grilled peaches over a campfire. There’s a bit of burnt rosemary in there too. It’s complex and inviting. Golden syrup sweetness ties all those different flavours together.
Long and moreish.
Wonderfully balanced, each sip brings a new flavour to explore. A rich oily texture only enhances the decadent feeling of this whisky, making it one to savour.
Flavour tags: Bright Fresh Fruits, Oily & Maritime, Woody & Herbal Smoke
Get it here for £36.45.
Those who are trying to get into peated whiskies (particularly sweeter coastal ones, like Oban) should definitely try Kilkerran 12 Year Old. The smoke is very subtle and well-balanced with the other fruity, complex flavours.
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Want to read more reviews in the Whisky Under £50 series? Check out the previous review, Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky.