Origin: Isle of Islay (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing casks: Ex-Bourbon and ex-Port
Additional coloring: No
Average price: € 90.00
Official website: kilchomandistillery.com
Kilchoman is a distillery that boasts (with good reason) a conspicuous number of loyal enthusiasts, enamoured by the profile of this whisky from Islay, which, despite an all-too-reduced and practically family-run production, has never speculated on its special and limited bottlings, maintaining a quality/price ratio that is always quite high.
A relationship of fairness between ‘customer’ and ‘producer’ that is strengthened on the occasion of these European tours, starting from 2014 and which, after a due break in recent years, returned to touch several countries of the old continent between 16 April and 28 May of this 2023.
Luxembourg, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Slovenia, Switzerland, France and the United Kingdom were reached by the Kilchoman-branded land rover (which actually broke down halfway, forcing the use of a less rampant van), while the stops in Italy took place between 10 and 13 May in eight different locations.
Eight thousand kilometres, thirteen countries and 3,325 cask strength bottles for this special edition made exclusively for the tour, the result of blending ex-Bourbon casks (between six and seven years of ageing) and ex-Ruby Port casks (around nine years of ageing) in the proportions of 80% and 20% respectively.
Thanks to the extraordinary helpfulness and expertise of Peter Wills (son of Kilchoman’s founder) and Antea Allegro (the distillery’s brand manager) for entertaining the public attending the Treviso stop at Boss Hogg with information and anecdotes.
On the nose, the initial wave of intense, smoky peat soon dissolves into the salty, citrus notes that take the helm of evocations, sailing the aromas towards sweeter, rounder lands of peach, melon, mango and ripe pear, with a hint of tarte tatin and baked cream in the background. Splashes of red fruits (redcurrant, wild strawberry) also emerge from the copious waves, while a peated fog girds the keel of this imaginary boat. Lots of sea in this bouquet, with a touch of fish as well.
Sea (or ocean, as you like) that returns in a consistent, creamy and spicy body (ginger, pepper, cloves) where citrus fruit triumphs (chinotto, lemon), yellow fruit, albeit in a lesser tone, and peat: a lot of peat, pungent and smoky, at times pushed towards smoked fish dipped in brine. Along the length, slightly bitter nuances of cinchona and rhubarb.
A long finish where brackish and peat clear the field of all other contenders, just allowing the citrus fruit a little corner in which to retreat.
Truly spectacular on the nose, a little less rich on the palate but still with great personality, it certainly doesn’t go unnoticed and definitely leaves its mark, with the incisiveness of the Port well balanced without overdoing it.