Kilkerran 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch
LIKE PULLING OPEN THE CURTAINS ON BRIGHT, SUNNY MORNING.
A long wait, but worth it—Kilkerran Single Malt is a lightly peated, double distilled whisky which is not chill filtered and has no added colouring. Bright and evocative.
Kilkerran is derived from the Gaelic ‘Ceann Loch Cille Chiarain’ which is the name of the original settlement where Saint Kerran had his religious cell and where Campbeltown now stands. Kilkerran is thought to be a suitable name for a new Campbeltown malt since it was unusual for the old Campbeltown distilleries to be called after a Glen, a custom more usually associated with the Speyside region.
Campbeltown have three fully operational single malt distilleries all located in the town itself, this makes it one of Scotland’s recognised whisky-producing regions. The town is situated on the Kintyre peninsula, near by the famous Mull of Kintyre, some 240 km from Glasgow.
It is a historic Royal Burgh and has been occupied for over 8000 years. Once home to a big fishing fleet, there were also no less than 34 legal distilleries established here during the 19th century, earning the town the nickname “The Whisky Capital of the World”.
By 1925, with the closing of the Reichlachan and Glengyle Distillery, Springbank and Glen Scotia were the only distilleries left. The opening of Mitchells Glengyle Distillery on 25th March 2004 increased the number of distilleries in Campbeltown to three, allowing the town to legitimately reclaim its place amongst the great whisky producing regions.
The history of Mitchell’s Glengyle distillery is a long and colourful one, but one which begins with a man named William Mitchell. William was the son of Archibald Mitchell, the founder of nearby Springbank Distillery. In the second half of the 1800s William ran Springbank Distillery in a partnership with his brother John, while the other brothers and sister were active running the old Rieclachan Distillery across the town. The family were not just distillers but also farmers, which was quite a common thing in those days. The growing of barley and production of farmers’ feed (a bi-product from mashing) meant that it made sense to run a distillery as well as being a farmer to keep the cost down. The farming element in the partnership with John didn’t run very smoothly – allegedly the two brothers had a quarrel about sheep – and this saw William leave the family business to start up his own venture, Glengyle Distillery on the corner of Glebe Street and Glengyle Road, just down the road from Springbank. Mitchell’s Glengyle Distillery was founded by William Mitchell in 1872 and he ran the distillery as a sole proprietor.Like the majority of Campbeltown distilleries, Glengyle suffered greatly during the economic downturn at the beginning of the 20th century. It was bought by West Highland Malt Distilleries Ltd in 1919 then sold again in 1924 for the princely sum of £300, before production finally ceased altogether in 1925. The entire spirit stock from the Glengyle Distillery was auctioned off on the 8th of April that same year.
Despite not producing any more spirit, the Mitchell’s Glengyle Distillery buildings remained in relatively constant use right up to modern days. In the 1920s the building was rented out to Campbeltown Miniature Rifle Club for a number of years and the buildings were later used a depot and sales office for an agricultural company and so it remained the best preserved of all the former Campbeltown distilleries.
Possibly because the buildings were so well preserved, a number of attempts have been made to re-open Glengyle Distillery in the past. The first was a mere 16 years after it had closed down when it was bought by the Bloch Brothers, then owners of Glen Scotia Distillery, who planned to rebuild and extend Glengyle. The war intervened however and nothing came of it. A further attempt was made in 1957 when Campbell Henderson applied for outline planning permission to undertake a £250,000 modernisation of Glengyle and re-open it but again nothing came of it. Third time lucky though as in November 2000, 75 years after Glengyle had last produced spirit, it was announced that the buildings had been bought by a new company, Mitchell’s Glengyle Limited, headed by Mr Hedley Wright, chairman of J&A Mitchell and Co Ltd, and great-great nephew of William Mitchell, original founder of Glengyle.
Age: 12 years
Proof: 92 (46% ABV)
Distiller: Mitchell’s Glengyle Disillery, Cambletown, Scotland
Family: Kilkerran whiskeys, Mitchell’s Glengyle Blend
Not available in: AL, KY, MA, MD, MS, ND, NH, NV, NY, PA, TX, UT, VT, WV
A marshmallow kiss drenched in spicey fruit pudding
Elusive, your tongue chases it while it slips away again and again
Finishes like eating lemon meringe pie in bed under satin sheets