Have you ever found yourself really wanting a new whisky? Like really, really wanting it. But it’s limited. Very limited. And so the inevitable hours begin scouring websites for this whisky on and around its release date, only to be minutes (or even seconds) too late every time.
This is very much how I felt about Kilkerran 16. I spent some very stressful hours over the course of three or four days trying to buy a bottle of this. I was obsessive. I would be on my phone almost constantly, hitting refresh over and over again.
I was lucky that my diligence paid off and I found a bottle on Abbey Whisky a few minutes before they sold out.
Kilkerran 16 46%
Nose: Like Kilkerran 12yo and Springbank Local Barley had a baby. Let's say the 16yoLB. Very austere in style, stripped back, clean whisky. Can we say old school? I think so. Old papers and books, a touch of fruit, melon maybe, lightly mineral with graphite pencil, some clay, lightly spicy with black pepper, some creamy vanilla. There is a touch of plastic at times though, some wood glue.
Taste: A slightly flat arrival, followed by mineral notes and a mouth-filling texture, plenty of oils, again the old paper, quite dry and blisteringly austere, a touch of orange hidden in there, carbon and a little soot (also carbon I know), old school oak, some creamy vanilla in there but it's pretty swamped by the dryness. Luckily, there's a burst of lovely complex spice in the mid-palate that really brings this together and makes it interesting- green peppercorns, lemon and stem ginger combo, ginseng root, very strong green tea, oily black pepper towards the back end.
Finish: Short/Medium length. The spices stick around, black and green peppercorns, a little ginger, the oak, maybe some heather, maybe some orange. A very small kick of smoke too.
98% Bourbon, 2% Madeira. 2020, 1st Release. Intellectual whisky. Not something you can just mindlessly enjoy, you really have to pay attention to get it. Could be an unpeated 16yo Talisker. Is it good? Yes, yes it is. Was it worth the price? At £60, probably. Was it worth the hours I spent tracking it down, stressing over snatching up a bottle before they could sell out? No, no it wasn't. There are moments of brilliance here, but they don't ever quite come to fruition.
Thanks for reading!
Scotch Review #868
Whisky Network Review #1043
Network Average: 75.2
Best Score: 94
Worst Score: 12
60-64 Just About OK
65-69 Ok to Good
75-79 Very Good
Full Disclosure Disclaimer: I currently work as the Global Brand Ambassador for Penderyn Distillery. The views expressed here are purely my own and do not reflect the views of Penderyn Distillery or The Welsh Whisky Company. I try to maintain as much objectivity as I can but feel free to take my reviews with as big a pinch of salt as you like. Furthermore, my rating scale is NOT based on a Parker type wine scoring scale or a school/college/university % or A-F grade score. You can find more on my scoring here. I apologise for any seemly low or 'bad' scores given with my system and I am sorry I can't say only nice things. Please keep in mind that I am ethically compromised and I am unable to produce 100% unbiased reviews.