Killowen Bonded International Series part 2 of 2
This 3 year old whiskey has been matured in ex-Tasmanian Pinot Noir and ex-Tasmanian Malt Whiskey casks, and given the Killowen Rum & Raisin finish. A limited release of 222 500ml bottles, bottled at cask strength of 59.42% ABV. Non-chill filtered and with no colouring. Release date of 25th November, and RRP of £94.95 (£84.95 with Black Friday discount).
After a most successful launch of our Belgrove Oat this year, we made sure to stash some away in fresh PX and our own Rum Casks for a perfect finish.
As mentioned before Killowen’s inception had two overlapping influences, one is the rambles of whiskey cleric Fionnán O’Connor, the other was a visit to the phenomenal Belgrove Distillery in Tasmania and meeting with its distiller/farmer/scientist and sculptor, Peter Bignell.
Belgrove’s unorthodox methods and willingness to experiment have resulted in a most unique spirit. If you haven’t tried a Belgrove before, then now is your chance to start.
This Irish/Tasmanian connection did not start with Brendan visiting Belgrove or Peter visiting Killowen but with Peter’s knowledge of traditional Irish whiskey methods that where not properly celebrated a decade ago. These methods encompassed the broader use of Oats and Rye but even more significantly the use of malted and unmalted grains, green malt (undried malt for those of us who don’t devour whiskey books) and amazingly up to 80% unmalted grain, relying on massive starch conversion in the mash ton. If you want to hear more about other methods such as forcing green malt through an old meat mincer, smoking malt in an disused industrial tumble dryer, chip pan oil fired flame-fed stills or even for those extra special whiskeys smoked with dried sheep shit from the distillery sheep fed by spent grain in Peter’s own circular ecosystem, then I’ll invite you to do your own extra reading, the rest of this piece is about Killowen’s release.
The release on Friday 25th November is Belgrove Oat finished with our Signature Rum & Raisin finish, released in the true Killowen fashion: cask strength, no added colour, integrity bottling, with full label transparency.
The reason for celebrating another micro distillery’s spirit is because we love it. It has connections with Irish whiskey’s rich past and with its contemporary future. Most whiskeys need to be old – very, very few don’t, however, just like Killowen, Belgrove put the effort in at spirit production stage instead of relying on prolonged casking, the sacrifice is quantity but who needs quantity when our game plan, above all else is quality.
Official tasting notes
Creme Brûlée from the start with figs and Christmas notes in abundance, creamy custard note again but with Christmas pudding.
The texture is full bodied and thick with an obvious custard flavour. Alike the previous Belgrove Oat it tasts like a box of Quality Street, like the purple one and the orange crème, coconut fingers and a hint of coffee. The Maillard reaction smokiness here is massively present, unlike the sweet smoke from turf but instead adding to the overall complexity.
Figs again with burnt orange rind, this one is a real Christmas treat.
Products will be released Friday 25th November 2022 5pm (GMT) exclusively via the Killowen Website.
RRP: £94.95 (£84.95 Black Friday discount)
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