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Monday, January 30, 2023

Kilkerran 16 year old, 2020 US Edition

Going from good stuff (Ardmore) to good stuff (Kilkerran), but I won't make you sit through 12 reviews of Glengyle's single malt. Just three.

First up, the 2020 American release of the Kilkerran 16yo(!). My how that baby has grown! Also, good on the Mitchell folks for holding on to so many 2004 casks.

Each batch of the 16yo has its own cask mix. For instance the 2021 US edition was 75/25 bourbon/sherry and the 2022 European version is 70/30 bourbon/sherry. Today's batch was 98/2 bourbon/Madeira, a combo I kinda like, a light seasoning of alternative casks.

The 2016 round of the standard 12 year old (also distilled in 2004), was very good without being a knockout, to my palate. I'll pick up a newer batch of that before the price gets any worse. In the meantime, here's a 16...

Distillery: Glengyle
Owner: Mitchell's Glengyle Limited
Brand: Kilkerran
Region: Campbeltown
Age: 16 years (2004-2020)
Maturation: 98% bourbon casks / 2% madeira casks
Bottled for: U.S. of A.
Alcohol by Volume: 46%
(from a bottle split)


The nose begins with clay and smoked fish, with orange candy highlights. And it works. It seems to get younger as it sits, with pineapple, pear, yeast, and a sencha-like brothy note arriving next. After 45 minutes, the nose shifts to ocean water with a hint of mango.

A mix of sweet citrus fruits leads the palate, with medicinal hints in the corners. It picks up notes of ginger beer, toasted grains, manure, and salt after some time. It never gets too sweet.

It finishes with a menthol and ginger glow. Oranges, cereals, and salt float through the background, along with perhaps a whiff of manure.


A good move by Glengyle, starting the 16 year olds with this sturdy batch. I ♥ the nose on this one, as it shifts phases (or faces?). The palate reads like a good everyday drinker, never really ascending from there, but I'll take that over all those cask-heavy Kilkerran limited editions. The 16 is likely a half step ahead of the 12yo, but keep in mind the Springbank/Glengyle tendency towards batch variation. Better and worse versions of each are out there.

Availability - This batch is probably sold out
Pricing - other batches are $150-$200
Rating - 87