This limited edition Kornog 2005 marked the 18 years, 4 months and 17 days anniversary of Whiskyfun. It was a private cask owned by Serge, bottled at cask strength and sold through WhiskySponge.
This is the oldest vintage available, according to Whiskybase, but Kornog is rarely available as a vintage bottling or a single cask anyway. Keep in mind that Jean and Martine Donnay didn’t start the distillery (in its current form) until June 2005. Kornog is the peated version (around 35 ppm) of their Glenn Ar Mor malt.
Kornog 15 yo 2005 (50,4%, OB for Whiskyfun for WhiskySponge 2020, first-fill bourbon barrel, 149 btl.)
Nose: less austere than I imagined after reading Serge’s description. At first I get leafy notes with sunflower oil but also an aromatic hint of custard and candy. Then a maritime, saline side comes out, with light touches of olives. Then back to a sweet floral side and warm leathery notes. The combination of warmth and elegance is great, even though it’s not extremely complex.
Mouth: a fatty, oily arrival with a light waxy touch. Mid-palate it becomes sharper, on zesty lemons, seawater and mustard. It’s not deeply smoky, it stays more on tobacco leaves and burnt grasses than on actual peat. Tea leaves and walnut skin. Some bitterness and a light vegetal mustiness in the back.
Finish: medium. Just a wee hint of wet cardboard (not too bad within this profile) before it returns to salty notes and oak spice.
While I believe subsequent years are often better than a distillery’s first year of production, this is quite good, with a deeply coastal character rather than a deeply peaty one, I’d say. It has some really nice touches, despite the fact that complexity is not its forte. A bit too expensive (I paid € 240 including taxes, you’re welcome Boris Johnson) but part of it was donated to a Parkinson’s charity, that helps.