Kilchoman Sherry Cask Release – 2012 bottled at 46%


Islay region – 46%ABV – $79 – only 100 cases allocated to the US!  This is already sold out in all of the UK shops I’ve checked.

Following Kilchoman’s success story as the months and years go on is a very fun ride for a whisky geek like me.  And really, they go from success to success with a seeming ease

Kilchoman is Islay’s youngest distillery (as many of you know) and the tiny island’s first new distillery in over 124 years.  If that’s not pressure on this small farm distillery, I don’t know what is.

Thankfully, Kilchoman has a great team on their hands as was evident when I visited them back in March of this year.  You can read about my visit with Kilchoman here on the Jewish Whisky Company/Single Cask Nation blog – the post penned by Seth Klaskin.

So here we are today, again following the Kilchoman story line from start up and now getting ever closer to that 10 year mark. (They opened in 2005 so they’ll turn 7 years old in 2012.)  And for today we have their 5yo sherry cask release, bottled at 46%ABV.

On the nose Peat smoke upfront however, it’s somewhat abbreviated and what follows is a good deal of black licorice (salted licorice at that).

Citrus sweetened green cabbage.  Now *that’s* an odd yet fun note!

More medicinal than expected given Kilchoman’s usual sweet peat profile and the fact that this whisky is from sherry casks.

Some notes of canvas sneakers (slightly loved).

A very promising nose.  The black licorice-like quality is quite nice.

On the mouth Window putty and fresh caulking.  Somewhat artificial/industrial in flavor.

Slightly sweet yet very drying/tannic from the start.

A touch hot given the strength – it tastes closer to 50-55%ABV or more.

Unripened banana, hints of softening strawberry.

Better yet, Starburst artificial strawberry flavor (subtle though).

Finish Long finish, the window putty and caulking notes last for a while as does the unripened banana element.

In sum  This is the first time I’ve tried a 100% sherried Kilchoman.  Comparing this to the others I’ve tried,  I think I more prefer the 1st fill bourbon matured ones or the releases that were a mix of ex-bourbon and sherry (E.G.  the Kilchoman Machir Bay which is just lovely).    I was not really able to connect with this one as I would have hoped.  However, a lot of people out there will enjoy this one for sure. (In fact they already have, seeing as this has completely sold out in the UK and EU where most of the bottles have gone.)  It does show promise for future.  I look forward to trying more sherried Kilchoman.

Special thanks to the good folks at ImpEx for the sample!