Blink and you’ll miss it. This is the way of things currently when it comes to new whisky releases. Until recently, regulars with Cadenhead’s were confident of wandering down to their local shop at the weekend and picking up whatever they fancied within reason. Sadly, times have changed and the secret of Cadenhead’s value and breadth of range have attracted them.
Like so much in society, a quick buck or financial gain is almost encouraged. The pyramid scheme, voting Tory and buying those extra concert tickets you won’t need. It has become an epidemic not only within whisky but throughout our daily society. Except amongst the chasing and selling, the actual whisky has become lost within the smog. I find such a thing rather depressing as well as frustrating. I was lucky to be able to purchase a bottle of this Kilkerran whilst knowing several friends were not as fortunate. This puts me in a difficult position. I try to share as much as I can. I’ve even passed on bottles at cost price to those I know who will do the dire deed i.e. actually break the seal. Perfect example was Mark with the insane shaggy funk monster that was the Kilkerran 13 year old port & bourbon cask. At least then I take some satisfaction that the bottle will serve its purpose as a conduit to unlocking new experiences, rather than being part of an investment portfolio or even as a prop for an influencer.
A single cask format means there’s only so much to go around. Throw in Cadenhead’s affordable pricing and the fact that this 2007 Kilkerran is the 1st independent bottling of the distillery. Throw all of this into the mixer and you’ve got prime flipper real estate. The type of release that prompts many to break out into a cold sweat and exhale in huge waves. Except that you have to ask when did they catch onto Kilkerran?
In relative terms, Glengyle or Kilkerran, or however you refer to it as, is a fairly new kid on the block. Despite the core Kilkeran 12 year old debuting just a couple of years ago. This Campbeltown revival has already established itself as having serious whisky credentials. When you consider the decades of experience at Springbank who operate Kilkeran, should this come as a surprise? Hazelburn, Longrow and Springbank are pretty much nailed down, set in stone and religious artefacts to some malt enthusiasts. Take that talent and knowledge. Apply it to a revived distillery a stone’s throw behind Springbank and hey presto you have a formidable proposition on paper. For good measure add the minimalist Campbeltown packaging alongside prices that take you back a decade before the madness ran riot through the population. The end result is a winning combination. However, we don’t want you to know this. You’ve just stumbled on this page by accident. Move along now to the Glenfiddich and Jura sections…
This Kilkerran formed part of the recent Authentic Collection release and was from a single sherry butt, resulting in 564 bottles. Retailing for £62.50 these flew off the shelves without much effort. Bottled at 58.1% strength, this promises to be a memorable encounter, or if you’re a flipper, this is financial suicide.
Cadenhead’s Kilkerran 2007 – review
On the nose: not as forceful as I was expecting from the colour. Hot chocolate, chilli flakes and chopped walnuts you could even say a walnut whip. Water is certainly beneficial. Roasted coffee beans, aniseed, liquorice and salted peanuts. There’s a wisp of smoke and baked figs. Another promising Kilkerran delivery so let us move on.
In the mouth: again, not the behemoth I was anticipating. The spirit can stand up to the cask, which is something we’ve seen throughout the funky Kilkerran releases. There’s a decent level of smoke throughout, right through till the finish. I actually preferred this at cask strength. A pleasant symphony of molten dark chocolate, more crushed nuts and coffee notes. An assortment of spices with clove and cardamon add body with a surprisingly level of peat.
A very enjoyable and stimulating release. A bottle that you can explore and appreciate in greater detail in your own time. Overall, another very good Kilkerran, as it continues to impress. Such a shame that bottles will now be very hard to come by for all of us. Hopefully, there are more releases and surprises from Campbeltown along these lines shortly.