Origin: Isle of Islay (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing barrels: Ex-Red Wine
Additional coloring: No
Average price: € 84.00
Official website: kilchomandistillery.com
STR stands for “Shaved, Toasted and Re-Charred”, referring to the 43 hogshead casks that have contained red wine (of unspecified origin) chosen by founder Anthony Wills, which were subjected to this treatment before welcoming, in 2012, Kilchoman’s distillate for the following seven years.
The creation of former Master Distiller Jim Swan, who passed away in 2017, this is an edition limited to 14,500 bottles, which matches another released in 2016, where the whisky was matured in untreated ex-wine casks.
But let’s leave it to them to describe the procedure used for these casks:
“Shaving reduced some of the bolder flavours on the surface of the oak, offering a more delicate influence from the red wine. Once shaved, the barrels were toasted and charred over a natural oak fire, fed exclusively with oak chips from used barrels. This process removes aggressive tannins and unwanted aromas by breaking down chemical bonds such as lignin, cellulose and hemicellulose, replacing them with sugars, vanilla and spicy notes.”
Much ado, and not about nothing!
Dark amber in the glass.
The nose is very delicate, with a soft sweetness of baked apples, marzipan, honey and dates. Little by little the peat opens up, suspended between herbaceous and smoke, carried by a sea breeze that seems to caress the other aromas. Balanced and elegant.
On the palate, the peat rises with imperious warmth, compact and oily, raising a cloud of smoke in which banana, chilli olives, a pinch of aniseed, ripe apple and cinnamon mingle. It’s a succession of very different aromas and impressions, a layered and complex malt, it takes time to unravel this skein. Hints of wood in the background, the peat that goes from herbaceous to fleshy, with ash that is mixed with sea water. Tobacco. Lemon. It really never ends: the alcohol content is well integrated, if it weren’t for the fact that you do have to stop at some point, you would drink it endlessly to discover other aromas, other suggestions.
The finish is long, of ash, sea, banana, vanilla and spices.
An all-encompassing experience, a truly unique and unmissable malt, fortunately still widely accessible.
Other bottlings in the blog:
Kilchoman 100% Islay 9th Edition
Kilchoman 100% Islay 10th Edition
Kilchoman 2012 Madeira Finish
Kilchoman 2018 Sauternes Cask Finish
Kilchoman Beija Flor 11yo
Kilchoman Loch Gorm 2020
Kilchoman Machir Bay 2018
Kilchoman Machir Bay Christmas Edition 2020
Kilchoman Sanaig 2018
Edinburgh Whisky Blog