Distillery/Brand: Kilchoman | Region: Islay | ABV: 60% | Colour: Young Sauternes
Nose: 22 | Taste: 23 | Finish: 22 | Balance: 22 | Rating: 89
I’ve been on a bit of a Kilchoman run of late. Nothing intentional. Just a series of coincidences that’s all. Came back from Islay after tasting a bunch. Organized a tasting which featured a couple. Got invited to a tasting which had four expressions on the menu.
So, really, not my fault.
It was at this very Kilchoman tasting that I had the pleasure of sitting down with Peter Wills, son of owner Anthony, who is incharge of marketing for the distillery. A very standup young man who was extremely passionate about his whisky. We went out for a few more afterwards which turned out to be quite a brilliant evening.
The glass in my hand holds spirit from a single cask matured exclusively in a first-fill bourbon barrel from Buffalo Trace. Distilled on 26th August, 2010 and bottled almost five years later on 11th May, 2015 this is bottle number 435 of 2010 and served at a very high cask strength of 60%
Nose: Sweet smoke. Peat. Cardboard. Citrus. Pineapple. So much citrus in this. That nice gristy barley that I’ve come to associate with Kilchoman. A bit of malt. Fresh fruits. Apricots. White wine chardonay. Digestives. Vanilla. Quite drying. Lemon tart. LIme zest. White pepper. Lots of aromas here. I like it. 22/25
Palate: Lemon. Lime. Custard. That sweet smoke again. Char. Oak. Cinnamon. Hint of chocolate. Burnt toast. Quite savory. The spicy arrival is quite massive and needs a touch of water to mellow it down. With water the barley comes through nicely along with that Islay grist. Honey. Very creamy now. Much smoother. With water I would give it an additional point. 23/25
Finish: Very long. Massive spices. Very dry. Cinnamon. With water the finish is nicer. Much smoother. 22/25
Overall Comments: At 60% there is no option but to have this with a touch of water. Normally I would mark it neat but I’ll make an exception this time around. A good powerful whisky with a lot of flavors.