Glengyle Distillery – Kilkerran – Work In Progress 5 – Bourbon Wood – 46% – 92 Proof $62.99/bottle (Here)
Color/Appearance: Yellow with a hint of golden warmth. They seem to be going about things the right way with floor maltings done by hand at Springbank, lack of colorant or chill filtration and craft presentation with a natural look. Simple bottle with no allusions of grandeur. With the strong Springbank affiliation they have the ability to quietly grow their new distillery through the best method possible. Just put out a quality product with little fanfare and let its fanbase build up naturally.
Nose: Creamy, ripe stone fruits, dried apricot, grape skins, dusty leather bound book, fresh bready malt, apple cinnamon pie, floral earthy peat. This is a great nose. So many delicious elements in harmonious balance. Light and fresh but expressing much deeper and complex aromas so easily.
Palate: Juicy, mouth watering, and delicious with a complexity found in few malts at this age. Smooth transition from the fruity elements to peaty and drying oak. Challenging and contemplative but so approachable. Creamy smoothness with some more old fashioned Campbeltown leather turning oily and peaty. I know they are building the range towards a twelve year but this is some fantastic stuff. If Kilchomen can be so great at five or six years this stuff at nine years is out of the park. Nine years in only bourbon wood may be the sweet spot.
Finish: Yum. Medium to long in length with fruity peat slowly fading towards a crisp dryness. Savory and sweet in balance. Peat smoke is so light but pleasantly noticeable. Overall balance is amazing as it fades out.
Overall: So many good things to say about this bottle. This really is the “sweet spot”, fresh and young but the cask and the distillate have started to really make something more complex and special. This is a bottle to buy immediately if you can find it. Next year we will see the sixth incarnation from this new and promising distillery and after tasting this I am certain it will be a great one. For some time I have been trying to write this review but every dram I pour out of this stuff I get lost in pure enjoyment. I am ashamed to admit that already the bottle is nearly gone. I am going to be searching for another in hopes I can find one on the shelf. A great value here. You are basically getting a young Springbank but with its own style. They seem to have followed the Kilchomen distilling formula whereby you distill a higher quality distillate at lower volumes with the goal of having an amazing product in fewer years. It works. This nine year old can hang with many much older bottles. A real diamond in the rough here. They are building the brand and if you get on the bandwagon early you will be in for a wonderful treat.