Islay region – 46%ABV – $41 – $60 (another crazy spread in US prices. And believe it or not, some places sell for more!) | £39
Kilchoman is a very young distillery on Islay in Scotland (young, like only 5 years old, young). Surely they fall within the peaty style of the island. With regards to Islay whiskies, only Bruichladdich and Bunnahabhain have non-peated whiskies as part of their standard range and as flagship whiskies.
With regards to Kilchoman, from the moment of their inception, Islay whisky-philes have been watching this little farm distillery with a keen eye. Since their inaugural release, their first REAL whisky (aged at 3 years and 1 day), people have had nothing but good things to say about their products. The list of people with good reviews is seemingly endless.
As of a later last year, Kilchoman stopped doing their various releases (Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter) and have launched a 2006 vintage – basically a five year old whisky. To my knowledge, there has been only one indy bottling of Kilchoman and that was put out by the Whisky Exchange. I have had two of their OB single cask bottlings and really enjoyed them (I still had a tiny bit left from my Binny’s Exclusive bottling).
This is my first run-in with a non-single cask Kilchoman.
OK, now some of those younger spirity notes creep through – pear drops, fresh apple too.
Some apple bread joins in on the fun as do some brine/coastal notes but it’s not very intense on that front.
Paraffin wax and a brininess as well.
There’s nothing young about this. One could confuse this for a single cask 10yo Ardbeg.
Lots and lots going on here.
Finish – A lasting fizziness on the tip of my tongue. Citrus notes remain.
In sum – This is a fine, fine whisky. While I think I enjoyed the full throttle experience of 60%+ ABV on the two single cask Kilchomans (or would it be Kilchomen at that point?) a bit more, Kilchoman is showing some great promise. If their whiskies are this good at only 4 years of age, I can’t wait to see what happened when they release a 10yo! This is a winter warmer-upper.
Special thanks goes out to the good folks over at Impex Beverages for the sample!