Thanks to /u/buddy_dosser for the sample via /r/ScotchSwap on reddit.
Although their official 12 year old bottling is quite new on the scene, Kilkerran has been putting out whisky for some time now, and among the most interesting of these have been the single cask releases.
This one is matured in an ex-calvados cask. Calvados is apple brandy and is not very common in whisky maturation but has been used by Springbank so it makes sense that Kilkerran would do it too.
Aged 9 years. 57.3% ABV. Matured in a Calvados cask. No colourant added, non-chill filtered and bottled at cask strength from a single cask.
Nose: Malt. Balsa wood. Dried apples. Raw leather. Vegetal peat. Herbal funk. Vanilla. Sulphur Dioxide.
Palate: Wood spice. Salty toffee. Leather. Hard cider. Unlit tobacco. Fenugreek. White pepper.
Finish: Long. Leather. Tobacco. Green herbs. Rich light fruits. Slight dry and bitter on the finish.
Would I buy this: Yes
Would I order this in a bar: Yes
Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes
I didn’t feel the Calvados too much, but it showed up here and there. But what did show up a lot was Kilkerran with it’s lovely herbal, leathery funk. The nose was a tad strong on the heavy chemical notes, but on the palate it all smoothes out. Lovely stuff.