Highlands region – 50%ABV – $£ ???
Highlands region – 50%ABV – $£ ???
1st Edition can be found for $?? sold out in most US stores | £77 (£66 ex VAT)
2nd Edition can be found for: $87 | £54 (£45 ex VAT)
I have a lot to cover in my side by side to these two Kilchomans so I’ll keep this quick. As an opener, know that the 100% Islay series from Kilchoman is quite different from their standard releases:
I love that Kilchoman runs this series and look forward to trying 3rd, 4th and, 5th edition 100% Islays!
On the nose — The first edition, in contrast to the latest 100% Islay, comes off as heavy and medicinal.
Truthfully, both are light in character but the second edition is quite sweet and filled with pear drops, a touch of sea air, malt, yeast and the actual sweetness of wash that permeates every inch of their distillery.
The second edition of the 100% Islay is transporting me back to my visit to the Kilchoman distillery.
Turning back to the first edition of this more lightly peated Kilchoman (both are peated to about 25ppm as compared to their standard level of 50ppm), the character is more like a rainy morning at a beach during low tide: salty, sea shells, some lemon, day old linens – comforting & relaxing as I nose it whereas the second edition is more lively and invigorating.
Two very different animals so far. Both enjoyable.
On the mouth — First edition: great mouthfeel and more of an initial sweetness (something I didn’t really get while nosing it). Phenolic, canvas army bags, lemons (again), salty to taste and very light vanilla influence. This is a fine example of a young Islay whisky. Drying as I get to the finish, too.
Second edition: More exotic in flavor! candied caraway seeds and candied young lime rind. I am reminded of a Thai dish I was told was called “Ming Com” I had once while in Seattle. There was some sort of green leaf I used to grab lime chunks and small red chilies – this is the combo I am getting here. A lighter mouthfeel than the first edition but the flavor combination helps to make up for that.
Finish — First edition: Medium length with just a touch of wood spice on the center of the tongue.
Second edition: a long, exotically sweet finish.
In sum – Two very different, yet satisfying drams. For my tastes (at least as far as today goes), the second edition’s style and the invigorating element to it made me really connect with it. I often enjoy whisky as a pick me up rather than something meant to relax me.
Want to relax? Get the first edition.
Need a pick-me-up? the second edition is the way to go!
Special thanks to ImpEx for the sample of 2nd edition Kilchoman. The 1st edition was my bottle but now I want a bottle of the 2nd edition
My guess is you’ll enjoy Jason from Guid Scotch Drink’s review of the Kilchoman 100% Islay 2nd edition
We’ve made it over the hump. There are eight active distilleries on Islay and so far I’ve lead us through four of them and what I deem their rock & roll likenesses to be: Part one:Bruichladdich as The Sex Pistols, Part two: Ardbeg as Slayer, Part three: Caol Ila as The 80′s (They get their very own decade!) and Part four: Bowmore as David Bowie.
I thought reviewing Kilchoman might be the best way to kick off the 2nd half of this series. At 6 years old, Kilchoman is Islay’s youngest distillery and they are kicking out some absolutely cracking whisky! Age be damned, Kilchoman is all about quality.
Today we’ll review the new Machir Bay whisky (the UK bottling – we will see a bottling here in the US very shortly) which is a mixture of 3yo (60%), 4yo (35%) & 5yo (5%) ex-bourbon barrel (Buffalo Trace to be exact) matured whiskies. Before batting it all together, the 4yo whisky was further matured in oloroso sherry butts for an addition six weeks (to help round out some of the flavors, methinks — it’ll help add some nice color to the whisky as well).
On the nose — It’s quite obvious that Kilchoman has a true style and character. Initial whiff and yup, this is a Kilchoman.
And it’s lovely.
The obvious brine and smoke are waving a flag saying “hello, hello!! here we are!!” Citrusy notes here as well. Lemon, lime… limon?
On the mouth — Thick, full, oily whisky.
Nice and even keeled – No huge sign of being too young.
Finish — Very long and laced with more licorice and even a touch of grilled apples.
In sum — Impressed yet again with Kilchoman. It’s obvious they know what they’re doing. This whisky is peaty/smoky enough for the peat heads out there and complex enough for the whisky geeks and just perfect, if you ask me, for a summer’s day.
I find this Kilchoman to be bright and fresh and has a bit of a pick-me-up feel to it. Highly recommended.
Initially, I thought the easy comparison to make with Kilchoman (as sort of the new kid on Islay) would be to make a comparison to a rock band that was comprised of youth.
Bands that come to mind:
Well, that didn’t work out so I decided to think of bands I love that have had hit after hit after hit (like Kilchoman has enjoyed with their whiskies).
I was happy to finally think of a band that had both youth, great music and hit after hit after hit…
Kilchoman – congrats! You are the Jackson Five! A truly incredible band and truly delicious whiskies.
Special thanks goes to JJY for getting me a bottle of this fancy sauce!
I started this series just four weeks ago and am just so pleased as to how well it’s being received. Thank you all SO MUCH for tuning in (and commenting) to this series!
Today in part IV we will have a chance to discover Bowmore’s older “Dawn” bottling.
Whisky aficionado and co-author of the 6th edition of Michael Jackson’s Malt Whisky Companion, Bill Meyers, introduced me to this whisky not too long ago. Thanks again, Bill! It was one that wowed me at the time. I liked it enough to seek out a bottle and below are my tasting notes.
My previous posts in this series started off with the whisky review first then the Rock band comparison just after. I’ll run the entire series this way. So’s you know…
While the smoke remains, it waits patiently in the background as red gem candies and grape soda take center stage.
This whisky has a lovely sweet and floral nose that’s balanced quite well with the smoke and earthy tones.
That lavender is back as well.
The port casks make themselves known with touches of spice on the back of the tongue (plus more of that fresh potting soil – the taste of the smell of, that is).
Finish — Spicy (lightly so) and with red fruits and just a touch of smoke.
In sum – Coming back to the nose after every sip and that (sweet) smoke returns in a very nice way. This is a solid, solid whisky. If you’ve stayed away from port casked whiskies in the past, this may be one to change your mind and one to search out (just save me a bottle or two…). I think I’ve discovered why it’s called dawn — this would make a solid breakfast whisky! Wake, pour, sip and invigorate.
Bowmore – The Band!
I’ll get this one out in the open — I LOVE 70′s and 80′s Bowmore. 90′s Bowmore makes me happy too. The variations of Bowmore released in the 2000′s+ seem to be a bit all over the place for me – a bit of a moving target.
However there have been some *solid* winners in my eyes. The Bowmore Tempest releases come directly to mind. As do Bowmore Dawn (reviewed above), Mariner, 25yo… heck, I really enjoy Bowmore Legend. One of the most uniquely delicious whiskies I’ve had in years was the 26yo single cask Bowmore put out by Master of Malt (so G-d darned brilliant a whisky!!).
There are also Bowmore whiskies that I find to be ok but not overly thrilling – Bowmore 12, 15 and 18yos come to mind. Decent whiskies but they don’t excite me like other Bowmores do…
While I may not be overly thrilled with that portion of their current standard range, I have a feeling that the addition of Rachel Barrie to the Bowmore team will put a shine upon their whiskies like we’ve not seen in a few years. Alongside Dr. Bill Lumsden, Rachel Barrie has done some solidly good things during her time at Glenmorangie and Ardbeg. Rachel, I can’t wait to taste all of the good whiskies that will come from Bowmore under your watch!
So, who are you, Bowmore??
I am actually reminded of David Bowie when I think of Bowmore. With his every changing styles/fashion and outfit coupled with a good mixture of some of the best Rock and Rock to come out in the 70/80′s (followed by some albums later in his career, during the 90′s and 2000′s, that were not up to par with the his earlier work but still pretty damn good). Not only am I a fan of 70′s glam, I’m a total Bowie Junkie.
Like Bowie, Bowmore is some something that others strive to be like but just can’t match. Are you Hunky Dory or just Aladdin Sane?
As a quick reminder, I created a dregs bottle of whisk(e)y called The GlenHatton. It is made up of the following whiskies (in no particular order or quantity):
After creating this dregs bottle I sent a message out to friends via the Jewish Single Malt Whisky Society Facebook page asking if anyone wants to get a taste of the stuff. I had enough for 8 samples and got a taker for each one! Based on the quick response and people’s seemingly burning desire to taste the stuff, I thought it’d make for a great series of posts!
Now it comes time for me to review the stuff. We’ve already heard from David Blackmore, Jason Johnstone-Yellin, David Bailey, Blair Bowman as well as Ewan Morgan, Malt Impostor, Anne Benner and Richard Barr.
What do I think of the stuff? Well, let’s see:
On the nose – Smokey for sure but, not off the bat. The smoke is waiting on the sidelines.
The fruits come back and smell juicy.
On the mouth – Peppery attack followed by threads of smoke and creamed corn.
I think Jason nailed it with the cumin note.
Very honied and sticky sweet.
I like this – YAY GlenHatton!
The fruits are gone now yet some honey remains.
In sum – All in all, a happy accident. No complaints here. I do remember, at one point, that this stuff tasted awful (after I added in the four bourbons). Once some of the peaty whiskies went in, it all turned around for the better.
When to enjoy this? Well, I’ve got enough for one more sample to give away. If you want, let me know and I’ll send you some. First come first served. You can email here: email@example.com
Update – it took about 7 minutes but, the final sample of the GlenHatton has been claimed. Congrats to Chris K of New Jersey!
As mentioned in the last GlenHatton post it was Jason Johnstone-Yellin who guessed the most numbers of whiskies in the GlenHatton. That being said, he wins a free whisky sample. So, what does Jason win? A 5cl sample of some 18yo, single cask, Cask Strength Hanyu bottled by the Number One Drinks, Co. This 18yo Hanyu was further matured in new Japanese oak. It’s an odd duck but I’ll tells ya, it’s damn good stuff. Congrats, Jason!
Thanks again to everyone who participated in this fun experiment. Twas a blast!