I just got back from a press event for Preiss Imports at Brandy Library in Tribeca. It seems Whisk(e)y Apostle is becoming legit, oh my brothers. I was hoping to run into Mark from WhiskyCast or Dr. Whisky, but they either did not come or came after I left. Maybe next time. Anyway, that’s neither here nor there. The news of the day was two new drams from Preiss.
The first dram was the new whiskey from Cambeltown’s first new distillery in 100 years. Though distilled at Glengyle (right around the corner from Springbank), the new single malt is called Kilkerran. This is the first global release from Kilkerran and represents the launch of the “Work in Progress” series. As a bona fide whisky nerd, the idea of this series really tickles my fancy. It’s like being in the distillery with the Master tasting the whisky at each age until you know it is ready. This first release is five years old and they will be releasing limited quantities each year until the whiskey is 12 years old.
Kilkerran 5yo Single Malt Scotch Whisky
46% ABV, 92 Proof
SRP $59.99, Very Limited Availability (only 1,800 bottles in the U.S.)
Nose: Light, vanilla, bananas, some peat
Palate: Light but rough around the edges, cloves, vanilla, tropical fruits, touches of peat and licorice
Finish: Makes the mouth water, peat, banana skins, a lot of alcohol
Comments: I love the idea of this. You can really taste where this whisky is going, but it is not quite there yet. It’s got a little too much heat and alcohol. A little more time in the barrel is going to make this a great whisky. If you get a chance, you should try this. It is great for your whiskey education. I’m hoping they are holding back a few bottles of this each year so we can do side-by-side tastings when the 12yo drops seven years from now.
Rating: Average/Must Try For Whisky Nerds
The next pour was Black Bull 30yo Blended Whisky. This is a one off and once it’s gone, that’s it. Unfortunately, there is not much of it either. Other than it’s age, what really makes this whisky interesting is that it is blended, then aged for thirty years in sherry casks. Most blends are made from aged whiskies and “married” for only a short time. The result is quite remarkable. It has the cohesiveness of a single malt, but the complexity of a blend. This is a unique experience not to be missed.
Black Bull 30yo Deluxe Blended Scotch Whisky
50% ABV, 100 Proof
Estimated Retail $199, Very Limited Availability (only 600 bottles in the U.S.)
Nose: Turkish coffee grounds, dark chocolate, ripe cherries
Palate: Heavily sherried but not overly so, chocolate, plums and cherries
Finish: Long and complex, cherry, cinnamon, cherry, chocolate egg cream
Comments: This is a very unique dram and very nice. It is not like anything else. If I had to compare it to something, I would compare it to Highland Park 30yo and Charbay’s Whiskey Release II. It doesn’t really taste like either, but I am reminded of both as I sip. I must say that I was surprised to find that its 100 proof. Uncommonly smooth, you could hurt yourself drinking this.
Rating: Hate to say this about a rare and expensive whiskey but… Must Buy
Thanks to the folks at Preiss Imports, especially Steve Fox, for setting this up and thanks to Ethan Kelley and Brandy Library for hosting us.
Drink well, drink responsibly.