Under the Kylver label, young Highlands distillery Wolfburn releases the contents of its most precious casks, i.e. out-of-the-ordinary whiskies that developed in such a good way that they deserved special treatment. The latest such bottling is the (partly) sherry-matured Kylver II, which launched earlier this year in an edition of 1,450 bottles. Obviously, such exclusivity comes at a price. And I can fully understand anybody claiming that the steep sum charged for Wolfburn’s Kylver II is a little out of their budget range – especially considering the fact that this whisky is not even four years old. If I had not won my bottle in a competition, there is a good chance it would not have found its way into my collection either. Still, I do not consider the Kylver II overpriced at all. Rather, I see it as an embodiment of an exciting new whisky era; an era in which age is no longer THE defining quality of a premium dram, but one among many others. Coming from a distillery that started production in January 2013, Kylver II can certainly not put too many years of maturation in the balance. Yet, it derives from an excellent new make, was matured amidst finest wood and got vatted with utmost expertise. The result is a rather subtle but all the more enjoyable Highlands whisky with an alluring fruitiness and a somewhat autumnal character. If that sounds tempting to you and the high price tag is not a hindrance, purchasing a bottle of Kylver II will result in a kingly new addition to your whisky collection. And if you do not feel like shelling out that much money for a single bottle, you might still want to try Wolfburn’s beautiful core range expressions Northland and Aurora . They are also highly recommendable, but a quite a bit more friendly on your wallet.*
*Meanwhile, I learned from the fine people at Wolfburn that the Kylver II was originally sold at the distillery at a fixed price of £67. The increase came to be afterwards, when individual bottles found their way into the repertoires of third-party online mailorders.
Eye: Light amber.
Nose: The Kylver II is not only delightfully fruity but also rather discreet on the nose. It unfolds an autumnal bouquet of garden fruits such as quinces, gooseberries, brambles and very ripe apples. In addition, there are also hints of oat biscuits, powdered sugar and vanilla.
Palate: Light, smooth and masterfully balanced. Sure, this whisky has certain juvenile qualities. But I still find it hard to believe that it is a mere three years of age. While green and yellow fruits dominated the nose, red fruits take the lead on the palate. Among others, I tasted squashed strawberries, sugared cherries and fresh raspberries, laid out on a still-warm flan base.
Finish: Before it exits the scene, the Kylver II takes you on an invigorating stroll through that autumnal garden once more, letting you nibble from a wealth of fruit-bearing branches and twigs.
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Region: Scotland (Highlands)
Alc. volume: 50%
Bottle size: 0.7 litres
Number of bottles: 1,450
Price range: 180.00 Euro (originally sold for 67.00 GBP at the distillery)
More info: http://www.wolfburn.com/ (Distillery) ; https://www.albaimport.de/ (Importer)