The Kilkerran Sherry Cask was part of the Blind Tasting Competition, as it turns out. I had tried it before some six months ago, but didn’t recognize it. Obviously.
I also had a sample of the Port Cask with tasting notes written but not yet published, so this is as good a shot as any to do both of them!
Kilkerran 8, bottled 2022, Port Cask, 57.9%
While all Campbeltown distillates tend to be rather funky (maybe except Hazelburn) this one pushes it to the limits. Slightly sulfury with a combination of funky Kilkerran and funky port cask influence. Old oak and red fruits that are well past their best-before-date. Rather jammy as well, but it’s mostly the port cask that’s dicating the nose.
The arrival is deceptively gentle, but kicks in after a couple of seconds. Then it gets rather hot with alcohol (it’s a first dram of the day situation, though). Red fruits, lots of old oak and chilli peppers. Apart from it being a bit hot eventually (as in, it becomes less hot) there’s a syrupy mouthfell which goes nicely with the fruits. The massive funkiness of the nose isn’t all here, but there’s a bit of old oak and moldy attic going on.
The finish mellows quickly and leaves the typical port-cask flavors behind. Lots of stewed red fruits, lots of old oak
Massively funky but it is surprising how well port casks are handled by Kilkerran and Springbank whiskies. Even though the funkiness might not be for everyone, it does have its fair share of fans, and in this case it’s a rather good example of what it can bring in terms of unique flavors and layering of depth. Good stuff!
Kilkerran 8, bottled 2022, Sherry Cask, 58.1%
Very intense on the nose, and the sherry leaps out of the glass. Pecan pie with dates, and a little bit of yeasty funkiness. Barley and oak, true to Kilkerran’s character. It is not overly clearly a sherry cask to me. The increases funkiness could also be port, so I was slightly mislead during the Blind Tasting Competition. Stewed forest fruits, blackberries, strawberries.
Quite a biter, with some chilli pepper heat to indicate where you have any tiny cuts or scrapes in your mouth. Lots of funky sweetness, pecan pie with pecan paste, sweetened pastry, maple syrup. Some oak and yeastiness too. Stewed red fruits again, with more pepper. It stays hot, with a ‘fortified wine’ funkiness. Rather charry, the black bits on a flame grilled steak kind of note.
The finish is a bit more dry, and shows more notes of oak, and a sudden whiff of mocha to go with the pecan pie. Charry beef with stewed red fruits.
A bit of a strange one that leans a bit towards the port cask version, more so than I expected. But, when you can get this around its release date for the original price it’s a tremendous dram to sit down with. It might not be the most complex or not as ridiculously good as the regular Springbank 10, for example, but it sure as hell is entertaining!