For January we’ve selected a single malt from the newest distillery in one of the oldest whisky-producing areas of Scotland. Kilkerran's 12 Year Old Single Malt was produced at J&A Mitchell & Co.’s Glengyle distillery in Campbeltown, which only reopened in 2004 after a hiatus of nearly 80 years.
The Kilkerran 12 is a mix of spirit aged in barrels that used to hold bourbon and sherry — 70% ex-bourbon and 30% ex-sherry. All water used in production, from steeping the barley to diluting the whisky before bottling, comes from the local Crosshill Loch.
While most Scottish distilleries are controlled by giant multinationals such as Diageo or Pernod Ricard, J&A Mitchell is a family-owned company. It also operates the larger Springbank distillery, just over the road from Glengyle in Campbeltown. Mitchell’s Glengyle facility produces whisky under the Kilkerran brand because it no longer owns the trademark to the Glengyle name. The brand comes from the Anglicisation of Campbeltown’s Gaelic moniker, Kinlochkilkerran.
The original Glengyle distillery produced whisky from 1872 to 1925, before Prohibition in the U.S. and an economic downturn forced its closure. Hedley Wright, chairman of J&A Mitchell, is the great-great nephew of William Mitchell, founder of the first Glengyle distillery.