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The traditional Glengyle distillery in Campbeltown, Argyll & Bute, which produced Scotch whiskey, closed in 1925. In 2000 it was completely transformed to become the first new Scottish distillery of the new millennium. Their single malts are sold in bottles branded Kilkerran.
William Mitchell started Glengyle Distillery which was completed in 1873. The roof of the distillery was destroyed by a storm shortly after its completion in 1873.
Mitchell was involved in this venture before a falling out with his brother John, with whom he owned Springbank Distillery. However, after the argument, Mitchell joined his other brothers at Reichlachan Distillery before starting his own business.
The first alcohol is expected to be ready in 2014 after the new Glengyle distillery started production in 2004. As the first brand new distillery of the new millennium, Glengyle joins a wave of new distilleries that also include Arran (1995) and Daftmill (2005). The whiskey from the Glengyle distillery is bottled under the Kilkerran name and not Glengyle. This is because Loch Lomond Distillers owns the name and uses it for their vatted malt. Why is the whiskey called Kilkerran? There are two reasons why the single malt produced at Mitchell's Glengyle Distillery was given the Kilkerran name. First, Mitchell's Glengyle Ltd. unable to acquire the rights to use the Glengyle name as it is already in use on a blended Highland malt. They also wanted to avoid any possible confusion between the latest single malt from the Campbeltown region and an older blended Highland malt. Second, and more importantly, the choice of name reflects the fact that Mitchell's Glengyle Ltd. very happy to continue and add to the illustrious history of the Campbeltown distillery. The name "Kilkerran" comes from the Gaelic expression "Ceann Loch Cille Chiarain" which also happens to be the name of the ancient parish where Saint Kerran had his hermitage and where Campbeltown is today. The new Campbeltown malt is named Kilkerran because it was unusual for Campbeltown's old distillery to be named after a glen, as is more common in the Speyside region. The Kilkerran Whiskey Making Process; Mitchell's Glengyle Distillery makes every effort to use locally grown barley. The truth is that depending on the quality of the local barley, we use different amounts each year. Most of our barley is grown on the east coast of Scotland where the climate is more favorable for growing barley than on the wet and windy west coast. We will always use barley grown in Scotland to make our whisky. The nearby Springbank distillery malts the barley in conventional malting plants. The barley is steeped in Springbank for 48 hours with water from Crosshill Loch in a cast iron hopper. Soaking gives the barley the illusion that it is spring and that germination has begun. Once the barley has absorbed all the water and is saturated, it is spread on the malting floor in a thick layer of about 10 cm.
Tasting Notes from Kilkerran 8;
Smell: bang! Cinnamon, smoked ham and sultanas, plus a hint of apricot and coffee beans. Palate: Spicy on the palate, with cinnamon, black pepper and ginger sticks. The dried fruit notes take time but eventually dominate the palate along with hints of honey. Finish: Subtle coffee bitterness and lingering peat.
This superb 16 year old Campbeltown whiskey from the Kilkerran series is Glengyle Distillery's oldest bottling to date and has been matured in bourbon. This balanced dram shows plenty of fresh, citrusy and tropical influences along with subtle smoky and spicy coastal notes.
Nose: Lemon bread and zest, white flowers, cut grass and dried herbs. Palate: A hint of dried apricots leads to earthy peat, with peppery spiciness, biscuits, more herbs and hints of brine. Finish: Rocky, mineral notes balanced by ash and waxy skins. Kilkerran heavily peated; This is a heavily peated whiskey from the Kilkerran line, produced at Campbeltown Glengyle Distillery. This second batch of heavily peated whiskey has an ABV of 60.9%. and is packed with meaty smoke flavors. Glengyle continues to do an excellent job.
Nose: Roasted malt with notes of baked earth and crispy bacon. Fresh citrus pervades the richness. Palate: Roasted apples, thyme, oily barley, peppery smoky notes. Finish: Gently spicy on the finish, with a hint of ginger.