Kirkland 20 Year Speyside

Review #25: Kirkland 20 Year Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky Sherry Cask Finish (Bottled by Alexander Murray & Co.)

Distillery: Unknown

Bottler: Alexander Murray & Co

Region: Speyside

ABV: 46%

Age: 20

Price: $57

Color: 1.4, Tawny

Nose: Sweet and a little leathery. For something that’s had some time to age, I was surprised by the acetone/solvent like smell handing out in this one. Disappointing.

Palate: Very bright and light but also spicy. There is a lot of fresh oak spice—far more than I would have expected for something of this age. There are some dried fruits, mango and prunes come to mind, which are lovely. The sherry influence on this isn’t quite as pronounced as I would like, it’s just barely there. With some water, the dried fruits come out some more—particularly the mango.

Finish: The finish is medium to long with some more notes of the dried mango. There is a dry, almost floral tea like, note right at the very end of this.

Conclusion: I don’t know how to really describe this as anything other than a disappointment. While this isn’t a bad whisky by any means—in fact, I would say the layers of fruit in the palate is pretty good—but it’s not the whisky I was hoping to get. Not only does it drink like a much younger whisky (10-12 year old would have been my guess) due to the heavy fresh oak influence, the sherry influence is hardly there at all (I would not have guessed sherry cask finish). For having come out with a beautiful budget friendly sherried Speyside with the 18 year, Kirkland/Alexander Murray & Co. have missed the target by a bit this time around. For the price it’s going at, I would much rather pick up the Glenfiddich 15 year Solera Vat from Costco (same price or pretty close if I remember right) than this one. Still, it is refreshing—especially that little floral note at the end—and one that begs to be drunk over ice on a hot, hot summer day.

Final Score: 77

Scotch whisky review #25, Speyside whisky review #11, Whisky Network Review #34


Scoring Legend:

  • 96-100: The perfect dram, nectar of the gods.
  • 90-95: Near perfect, there is something truly special about this whisky.
  • 85-89: Amazing, will always try to keep a bottle of this in my collection.
  • 80-84: Very Good, maybe only one minor nitpick about the whisky keeping it here.
  • 75-79: Good, quite enjoyable to drink.
  • 70-74: Solid, wouldn’t go out of my way to get it.
  • 60-69: Meh, still drinkable.
  • Below 59: If you have a bottle of this, start cooking with it instead.

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