Origin: Isle of slay (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing barrels: Ex-Bourbon and ex-Sherry Oloroso
Additional coloring: No
Average price: € 55.00
Official website: kilchomandistillery.com
Known as the only distillery that follows the entire whisky production process directly on site, Kilchoman is a name that is now familiar even to those who have only recently approached the world of this distillate.
The barley is grown directly by the company (so much so that it’s defined as a farming distillery), even if not enough to cover all the requirements: a large part of the barley needed to produce the whisky is in fact purchased from Port Ellen, remaining on Islay.
It could be called a 100% Islay, as one of their bottlings.
If the focus is often on the casks used for ageing, recently the importance given to the raw materials is also increasing, focusing on the uniqueness of their provenance and processing.
Hence, organic whiskies (such as Benromach’s Organic), those focused on terroir (such as Bruichladdich’s Islay Barley) and Kilchoman’s production, in a constant search for refinement and experimentation that goes beyond the “simple” ageing in the components of casks and age.
Increasing the number of variables that can be changed to obtain ever different and unique distillates is an essential enrichment for whisky, which I hope can only continue along this path.
Brother to Sanaig, whose production began at the same time in the early years of the young distillery, it differs from the latter in the inverted percentage of influence of the casks: 70% Bourbon, 30% Sherry Oloroso. Each vintage is different from the previous one precisely because of the continued use of the same casks over time.
A lovely straw yellow, almost honey-coloured, greets the eye in the glass, while the nose immediately perceives a very present, fresh herbaceous component. The peat is gentle, more damp than burnt (or perhaps it’s damp burnt), with spicy hints and a mineral note. A hint of citrus completes a palette of well-integrated and rich aromas, truly a remarkable nose.
In the mouth, the minerality becomes more compact and insistent, along with the vegetable peat with the most evident toasting. More spices, with the addition of green apple and citrus fruits, and a very slight alcoholic tinge that accompanies the peppery component of the whisky. It reflects the nose, enriching it with a very pleasant caressing softness.
The peat is more noticeable in the finish (really growing from the approach to the glass), with the spicy and fruity components accompanying the memory of the drink for a long time.
It’s amazing how the peat (we’re at 50 parts per million) is so smooth and gentle, the balance of the barrels seems really well constructed, more so than in the Sanaig, so it deserves a few more points.
Reviews of Kilchoman whisky in the blog:
Kilchoman 100% Islay 9th Edition
Kilchoman 100% Islay 10th Edition
Kilchoman 2012 Madeira Finish
Kilchoman 2012 Sauternes Cask Finish
Kilchoman Beija Flor 11yo
Kilchoman Fino Sherry Matured 2020
Kilchoman Loch Gorm 2020
Kilchoman Machir Bay Christmas Edition 2020
Kilchoman Sanaig 2018
Kilchoman STR Cask Matured 2019
The Scotch Noob