Origin: Isle of Islay (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing casks: Ex-Bourbon and ex-Red Wine
Additional coloring: No
Average price: € 90.00
Official website: kilchomandistillery.com
12,900 bottles were released at the end of last year for one of Kilchoman’s many editions featuring finishing in ex-wine casks, a real fixation for founder Anthony Wills, so much so that he “defied” the strict SWA rules for this bottling.
In fact, 38 ex-Bourbon casks aged about six years were then joined in two enormous (ex-red wine) heavily charred 6,000-litre vats purchased for the occasion in Portugal, in which the whisky was matured for a further two years, going well beyond the maximum size allowed for ageing in oak casks, which is 700 litres.
Even though this marriage (casado, in Portuguese) was not to be done, it was still done, but nothing serious for a NAS, just the years in those vats “don’t count”.
A textbook maritime and peaty nose, a beautiful ocean shore bonfire on which scallops and shellfish sizzle, mingling with citrus (pink grapefruit, orange), red fruit compote, marzipan and caramelised apples. There is also room for a layer of sweeter fruit, peaches, apricots and ripe plums. Over time, the iodine and mineral part becomes more assertive and pushy, while the smoke subsides.
On the palate, citrus fruits are ignited with spices: lemon, orange, nutmeg and ginger invade the palate driven by the waves of the sea, which also drag in pickled peaches and apricots and grilled pineapple. Peat turns to vegetable, with a strong saline and mineral component, a well-integrated smoke without excess, a hint of currant and slight tannicity along the length.
Medium-long, saline finish of citrus, currants, spices, dull embers and mineral notes.
I honestly didn’t understand this whisky very much, the very long finishing didn’t seem to have left any particular marks on the distillate, maybe that was the intention and so it succeeded, but personally I find myself with a Kilchoman in the glass, good but not unforgettable.