I was surprised to find a Kornog release among the celebration whiskies from The Whisky Exchange. As you know, Sukhinder Singh is celebrating his family’s 50th year in the drinks business. Apparently Kornog is Sukhinder’s favorite whisky from mainland Europe.
Established in 1999 by Jean and Martine Donnay, Celtic Whiskey Distillerie is producing quite characterful whiskies. The distillery makes two styles of single malt – the unpeated Glann Ar Mor and the peated Kornog (around 30-40ppm).
Kornog 6 yo 2016 (60,5%, OB for The Whisky Exchange 2023, refill Pedro Ximénez butt, 668 btl.)
Nose: I’m getting a Lagavulin vibe. A warming, sweet kind of fireplace smoke with roasted almonds. Sandy beaches and light farmy notes (sheep fat?). The sherry influence is subtle, but you do get hints of chocolate and tobacco leaves. Then whiffs of burnt plastic and hints of cecina de León.
Mouth: punchy peat smoke with a peppery edge. A light austerity with mineral notes and hints of mustard. Then it picks up sweetness again, moving towards chocolate cake with dark cherries and roasted chestnut. Minty freshness and camphor in the background. Hints of tar and salted liquorice in the end, getting quite earthy.
Finish: long, showing a mix of mineral smoke and tobacco, alongside walnuts, leather and black peppercorns.
A very fine peated youngester indeed, with above-average complexity and a refined PX influence. While there are echoes of Lagavulin and Ardbeg it also has some unique touches. Now only available from The Whisky Exchange.