Category Archives: Glengyle (aka Kilkerran)

Kilkerran 12-year-old

Bought: Lockett Bros, 19th April 2017

90.5/100 – Whisky Bible 2017
90/100 – Ralfy (of – his video review below
86.78/100 – Whiskybase (average from 560 member votes)

My previous bottle of ‘Kilkerran’ by the Glengyle distillery was the ‘Work in Progress 5’ (bourbon casks), which I bought at the end of 2013. Back then my blog mused about the possibility of a 10-year-old release in 2014 but we had to wait until 2016 for the appearance of the first age statement. Glengyle filled the gap in 2014 and 2015 with a ‘Work in Progress’ 6 and 7. It was certainly worth the wait because whisky lovers went mad for the Kilkerran 12yo when it appeared in 2016. It was arguably the best budget single malt release of the year. I was a bit slow off the mark but thankfully managed to pick up the 2016 version of the bottling in early 2017. Since then Glengyle have released the 12yo again and it looks set to be a regular release from now on.

Over the years critics generally said that the bourbon cask version of the ‘Work in Progress’ was marginally better than the sherry. You have to suspect that Glengyle picked up on this, which is why they made the 12yo 70% bourbon and 30% sherry. Scoring nearly 87/100 on Whiskybase is a fantastic score. And from 560 members this suggests the Kilkerran 12yo is very much a whisky drinker’s whisky. Comments include “pleasant standard at a reasonable price”, “a surprisingly tasty drama considering the price and age” and “beautifully made no-nonsense Campbeltown whisky”.

Scoring 90.5/100 in Jim Murray’s ‘Whisky Bible 2017’ classifies the Kilkerran 12yo as ‘brilliant’. The author comments about the taste “despite the dozen years in cask, this still retains a degree of youth about it. But the malts are confident and take advantage of the overall lack of body to spread out and blossom”. He summarises with, “a malt far more confident at this age than some of the previous, younger, bottlings from a few years back. Has a fragile feel to it and the air of a malt which must be treated gently and with respect.”

90/100 from Ralfy is one of his highest scores. Here are his thoughts about the Kilkerran 12yo on YouTube (Oct 2016):

Kilkerran ‘Work In Progress 5’ (Bourbon Wood)

Bought – Amazon, 31st December 2013

90.5/100 Whisky Bible 2015
84/100 – RalfyHis Review on YouTube (June 2013)

Originally founded in 1872, Glengyle distillery was revived in 2000 and whisky production restarted in 2004. Guess what that means? 2014/15 could see the release of the first 10-year-old! But it’s not as if the good folk of Glengyle distillery have been twiddling their thumbs waiting for this magical year. Because the name ‘Glengyle’ is already registered for a blend, the distillery have been issuing single malts under the name ‘Kilkerran’. Several ‘work in progress’ releases have been issued but No.5 is the first that Ralfy has considered worthy of review. He gives the ‘Bourbon Wood’ version (matured in bourbon casks) 84/100 and the ‘Sherry Wood’ version 83/100. On his 1 point preference I went for the bourbon casks version and it is delicious! I toasted in the New Year with it and it was an excellent choice.

Update (Feb 2015). Added the rating from the Whisky Bible 2015, which has been newly included for this year. The good news is that, like Ralfy, Jim Murray (Bible author) ranks the bourbon finish above the sherry, which scores 86/100. But he also includes the scores for ‘Work in Progress 6’ with the bourbon wood scoring 92.5/100 and sherry wood scoring 88.5/100. Both seem to be improving with age.

Kilkerran Work In Progress 5 70cl