Origin: Isle of Islay (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing casks: Ex-Bourbon
Additional coloring: No
Average price: € 60.00
Official website: kilchomandistillery.com
One of Islay’s many coastal corners, Saligo Bay borders the well-known (especially for whisky aficionados) Machir Bay, and could only give its name to a special edition of Kilchoman.
Released in 2021 without much fanfare for the travel retail market only, as is often the case it’s an edition that later became available in the general market: an October 2016 distillate with five years of ageing in ex-Bourbon barrels, it follows the first such release made in 2014, Coull Point.
Powerfully Islay but with Kilchoman’s signature in the glass: pungent fish grill peat with herbs (rosemary, thyme) and a generous splash of oranges. Burnt wood acts as a background as the aromas of custard, tamarind, cucunci, toasted cassette bread and a slight earthy impression unfold. Direct and balanced.
On the palate, black pepper and a light touch of ginger introduce sweeter and more citrusy tones, with the peaty component becoming an accomplice, softly welcoming crisp apple, cream, citrus (orange and lemon) and aged goat cheese (yes, I know, it’s quite specific as a note, but I couldn’t describe it better). The texture is light and compact, convincingly saline, leaving a trail of damp, bitter ash, which creates a pleasant contrast with the sweet vocation of the distillate.
The finish is quite long and picks up the thread of sweetness cloaked by the saline and peaty drapes, with an increasing dryness and a rather bright metallic vein.
The solid certainties of the young Kilchoman are repeated in this edition, which may not shine in its own light, but offers a pleasant drink with just enough complexity to be neither banal nor demanding.