Google Kilkerran and partnering spongy Campbeltowner

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Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!

May 8, 2019


Kilkerran and partnering spongy Campbeltowner

There is this wee Kilkerran by Springbank’s Glengyle Distillery that I haven’t tried yet. And then a fitting sparring partner – I hope.

Kilkerran 11 yo 2007/2018 (58.1%, Cadenhead, sherry cask, hogshead, 564 bottles)

Kilkerran 11 yo 2007/2018 (58.1%, Cadenhead, sherry cask, hogshead, 564 bottles) Four stars
This will be a little heavy, I would wager. Remember Kilkerran is the brand name of Mitchell’s Glengyle Distillery, which was restarted in 2004 using Ben Wyvis’ pair of old stills. Colour: amber. Nose: more chocolate than in Mars bars, plus distinct whiffs of rose petals, lady’s perfume (musk?) and some extremely black black bread. Old-style pumpernickel? Some menthol too, new Chinese plastics (new Nikes), game, mole sauce, crispy duck and prune sauce… Well, it is definitely Chinese. Very singular whisky. With water: soot, leather, flints, gunpowder, and some heavy caraway and juniper. Shall we call this one assertive? Mouth (neat): huge, very meaty and game-y, with more Beijing duck (and prune sauce, and thin pancakes, and baiju…) and chocolaty prunes plus some tart lemon jam and a bittersweet development. You could dip some dim-sum dumplings into this one and find a lot of pleasure in doing so, while offending no one. With water: it’s become chicken bouillon, with some parsley and some marrow. Very salty and chocolaty. Finish: long, sweet and spicy, and saltier yet towards the aftertaste. Comments: a big boy for sure, pretty extreme at times, but spectacular and not unbalanced. An elephant performing a trapeze act, I like that.
SGP:652 - 86 points.

Campbeltown 21 yo 1997/2019 (55%, Whisky Sponge, bourbon barrel, 178 bottles)

Campbeltown 21 yo 1997/2019 (55%, Whisky Sponge, bourbon barrel, 178 bottles) Five stars
The spongy whisky entity that’s behind this bottling would not tell us what this exactly is, but there are clues on the label. I mean, who makes a triple-distilled Campbeltowner these days? You are right, this ought to be Hazelburn. Colour: straw. Nose: you know, this feeling of a Springbank that is just a little lighter than it usually is. So limestone and metal polish, lemon squash, plasticine, bandages, some crushed fern and other wild leaves, grapefruit skin, then more and more chalk and plaster, as well as hints of new US oak, that is to say vanilla and coconut. No worries, there are only minimal amounts of coconut here. With water: tightens a bit, while becoming more refreshing and kind of minimalistic. Not an official Dalmore, if you like. Mouth (neat): very good and very different. Bags and bags of peppermint plus a little coconut oil, green pepper, pomelos, green bananas and limoncello. All that with that trademark dry fatness that’s always to be encountered over there in Campbeltown. No, of course not at the people’s. With water: these wee touches of wax and even plastics that are so emblematic. Paraffin and grapefruits. Finish: long, really very good, bright, coastal/salty, with even more grapefruits and paraffin. Some coconut again in the signature. Comments: such old Hazelburns are rare. What this one shows is that the make ages gracefully, provided no Dr. Frankenstein of whisky ever did any excessive ‘wood téhhhknology’ experiments on it. Superb Hazelburn. By the way, are sponges plants or animals?
SGP:552 - 90 points.







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