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Finally: Kilkerran 12 Year Old Is Here


With the relief that comes with great anticipation, we would like to welcome the Kilkerran 12 Year Old single malt to The Oak Barrel shelves. And it could be the whisky of the year.

If you are a regular reader of our posts here you will know that our whisky and spirit buyer is a big fan of the distillery – he got a little bit emotional about it all last year.

Located in the Campbeltown region in south west Scotland, Kilkerran single malts are the brand of whisky produced at the Glengyle distillery. Glengyle was brought back online in 2004 by the team behind Springbank – the most famous modern distillery in Campbeltown – and they spend a portion of each year distilling whisky at the distillery, which is just around the block.

Since 2009 they have been releasing Work In Progress expressions, which have showcased a wonderfully complex, unusual spirit.

Glengyle is lightly peated (to the specifications of Springbank malts) and can showcase gravelly, granite notes as well as higher tropical fruits and floral lavender. The Work In Progress releases showcased a whisky that belied its age and harked back to an older style of whisky making.

Late last year the 12-year-old expression those releases had been working towards was unleashed, and it has now reached Australian shores.

A balance of sherry (30%) and bourbon (70%) casks, this is a fantastic expression balancing light sooty peat smoke with herbal floral notes and bright tropical fruits.

At under $100 for members, it is also fantastic value.

Last year it was one of the top five drams that whisky buyer Scott drank (he rushed a bottle or two over) and it was certainly the best value.

Important to remember, the distillery capacity of Glengyle is 750,000 litres, which would put them on the smaller side of the active distilleries in Scotland. But Springbank staff are only ever at Glengyle for about six months of the year. On average for the past 12 years, then, Glengyle has averaged a capacity of 40,000 litres – which is miniscule. In 2016 they produced 40,000 litres.

Good things come in small, white tin, packages.

Scott Fitzsimons