Thursday, December 7, 2023

Kilkerran Port Cask Matured 8 Year Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch

- $180
- 115.8 Proof
- 8 Years
- Campbeltown

I can't help myself when it comes to those peated and fruited Scotches. I love that combination of smokey deliciousness paired with the flavor that comes from maturation in wine barrels, especially fortified wines like port or sherry. In fact, I've come to learn that I tend to favor a port cask maturation over all others.

So when I first learned of these Kilkerran releases, including not only this port cask finish, but also a sherry cask finish, I knew I had to try to track one down somehow. I honestly figured it wouldn't happen, but then I wandered into Warehouse Liquors in Chicago and there it was on the shelf, just begging me to buy it and give it a good home. Of course, I couldn't help myself, despite the hefty price tag. 

The one constant with this single malt is that it is jammy!!  the nose was full of notes of stewed plum and bread pudding.  I got notes of spiced or mulled wine, as well as rich dark chocolate. There was a fairly heavy raisin note as well. But, all of that was layered on top of a jammy blackberry note that really took center stage.

The flavor followed suit, as right up front and through the finish my palate was inundated with sweet blackberry and fig notes. It was rich and sweet ad delicious!! Of course I got a light smokiness from the peat, but it was a bit minimized by the heavy dark fruit character.

There were other notes going on, though, beyond the fruit and smoke. There was a layer of dark chocolate that was also constant from the front and through the finish, adding a bit more richness and complexity, and helping pull back from the sweet fruit notes. I got a bit of black pepper spice, particularly on the finish, as well as a bit of salinity that, quite frankly, really worked here, mixing well with the blackberry and campfire notes. 

If there's a criticism here, it's that this is VERY jammy (yes, I'm using that word a lot, but here it fits). There's no question the port dominates here.  But, I nonetheless found myself not only loving every sip, but actually getting cravings for a pour. For what it is, it was absolutely delicious!

Grade: A-

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