GLENGYLE DISTILLERY OPEN DAY
Today we backed up a massive Springbank Open Day, with another big one in Campbeltown. This time, Glengyle distillery, home of the Kilkerran single malt. For the first tasting of the day, we headed to the Cadenheads warehouse where we were met by Cameron and Mitch at the fine whisky drinking time of 10:15am. This was an interesting tasting to say the least and showcased the breadth of the Cadenheads selection.
First up was a 1993 Strathmill at 52.9% followed by a 31 year old 1987 Single Grain Caledonian at 51.7% which was better. We went exotic next (perhaps more so for Europeans but more familiar for me) with a Paul John 6 year old 55.6% refill bourbon cask. Interestingly, the contents of this particular cask were delivered to Campbeltown in bottles (because shipping the cask was proving difficult with Customs at the time) and had to be hand decanted one bottle at a time into this cask.
Now for something completely different, we tasted a 58.6% 10 year old Guatemalan Darsa Rum, inside of an ex-bourbon cask. I actually really liked this one and I’m not usually a rum drinker. It was very easy to drink with a nice warming sensation in your chest and shows that Cadenheads bottle more than just whisky. The penultimate dram was a 25 year old Highland Park at 59.8% which I was really excited to try and then immediately disappointed by. The last dram was a 14 year old Springbank that was fully matured in an ex-rum cask.
I quite enjoy the Springbank rum cask, but unfortunately I had to drink and run, to get to my next tasting for the day.
The second tasting in as many hours was a Kilkerran masterclass with Sales Manager, David Allen, where we tasted six whiskies with all but one being at cask strength. These included, Kilkerran 12 year old at 46%, Kilkerran 8 year old at 55.7%, Kilkerran 12 year old triple distilled at a massive 62.1% (my favourite), Kilkerran 8 year old open day recharred sherry at 58.4%, Kilkerran 13 year old Madeira cask at 53.8% (incredibly smooth but also very dry) and lastly a two year old Kilkerran Heavily Peated spirit at 60.5%. By the end of this tasting, I was in need of some greasy food to soak up some alcohol.
After some much needed food, we attended our final tasting for the Campbeltown Malts Festival, a Cadenheads Masterclass with a twist – a head to head taste-off between Jenna McIntosh and Cameron McGreachy, sales reps for the Cadenheads Authentic Collection and International Range respectively. Mark Watt was there to oversee the ’bout’ and to interject some of his trademark humour. I really liked this tasting, it was jovial and relaxed but included some heavyweight whiskies.
I was already ten cask strength whiskies down, plus a rum and standard Kilkerran 12 year old, so I recorded most of the tasting. I will just list what we had for now, a 29 year old Macduff at 55.1%, a 32 year old North British single grain refill sherry at 55.2%, a 31 year old Glenturret sherry hogshead at 44.5%, a 8 year old peated English whisky at 61.9%, a 22 year old Aberfeldy bourbon hogshead at 52.2% and my favourite, a 17 year old Bowmore at 54.2% and that folks, was me done for the day.
Tomorrow, we head north east for the Blackford Highland Games.