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Thursday, April 4, 2024

Kilkerran Heavily Peated, batch 7

Though I am a Kilkerran enthusiast, I've avoided the brand's Heavily Peated range. Part of Kilkerran single malt's thrill is how well (sometimes perfectly) its low-to-moderate peat level merges with every other aspect of the spirit. Very, very few heavily-peated whiskies achieve any level of balance; the pleasure (for some folks) is the scope of the phenolic assault. Monolithic whiskies no longer appeal to my palate, so when Kilkerran upped its ppm levels from 10 to 84 for this series, I shrugged and ignored every batch's release, especially after my disappointment with their standard Cask Strength releases.

But I'm still a curious man, and these Heavy creatures have received positive reviews, so......here it is, Heavily Peated, batch 7.

Distillery: Glengyle
Owner: Mitchell's Glengyle Limited
Region: Campbeltown
Brand: Kilkerran
Range: Heavily Peated
Age: NAS
Maturation: 90% bourbon casks / 10% sherry casks
Bottled: 12 Sept 2022
Alcohol by Volume: 59.1%
(from a bottle split)


Direct prosciutto hit to the nose! Plenty of seaweed, coal, and charred green bell peppers then follow. Giving it some time, I find mint leaf and tangerine juice peeking out of the background. The palate is, erm, peated. Burnt veg, burnt bacon, burnt beef, burnt taste buds. Once my face heals up, molasses, salt, rock candy, and lemons push forward. The prosciutto returns in the finish, followed by dark smoke and bitter herbs.

DILUTED to 46%abv, or 1¾ tsp of water per 30mL whisky

The PEAT becomes very ocean-y in the nose, just as a fresh apricot note suddenly appears. The palate reads sweeter and less burnt, with mint and moss in the background. It finishes with moss, sugar, and ash.


Though this feels like 3-4 year old whisky, it is a decent 3-4 year old whisky. The spirit has scared (or scarred) the oak away, which I don't mind, and it's not as much of a palate wrecker as I'd anticipated. But it's still a brute. Some time and water may be required to find this batch's best form, especially near the 46%abv mark. Though I'm not motivated to purchase a bottle, I won't ignore these releases going forward. At least Glengyle is playing with peat rather than tiny casks and wine blends.

Availability - These batches sell out with surprising speed
Pricing - $80+ in Europe, $100+ in the US
Rating - 83