Origin: Isle of Islay (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing casks: Ex-Bourbon, ex-Sherry and ex-Port
Additional coloring: No
Average price: € 110.00
Official website: kilchomandistillery.com
So many good things have come about by accident or mistake, think of penicillin, corn flakes, even crisps.
And even this whisky, whose origins (how fictional is not known) are based on the error of an unidentified distillery employee, who in 2014 mixed casks intended for the making of Machir Bay with others intended for Port Cask. Apparently, the end result was so good that it deserved to end up in this 2020 edition, named after the Gaelic expression for “mess”.
So ex-Bourbon and ex-Sherry casks originally from 2009, in the proportion used for Machir Bay, combined with other ex-Ruby Port casks and left to rest for six years in ex-Bourbon casks, before returning to ex-Port casks for final maturation.
This is not the first time that a whisky born by mistake has hit the shelves, it had already happened in 2013 with Wild Turkey Forgiven, born from a wrong mix of bourbon and rye.
Full and sweet on the nose, with earthy, burnt peat titillating the nostrils accompanied by notes of red apple, mango, Catalan cream and cloves over which a fresh sea breeze blows. Rest enhances the sugary impressions, like approaching a candyfloss machine. Inviting.
On the palate it’s an unexpected fresh and herbaceous wave of balsamic notes and hints of lavender mingled with smoked peat, over which a boatload of tropical fruit, apple, vanilla and cranberry beckons. Lemon splashes on the keel with spicy veins at the stern, with smoke signals launched at every lapping.
The finish is quite long and silky, with balsamic and maritime impressions of red fruits, spices, smoke and sugar paste.
An unusual, special whisky, with unexpected and apparently jarring evocations that find a rich and precarious balance, certainly not easy to drink and requiring a certain attention and open-mindedness. An experiment that I don’t know if I could call truly successful, but certainly intriguing.