Bottled: 2015, Distilled: 2005
Bourbon & Sherry
More Info: WhiskyBase
The bottling of the first ten-year-old whisky is a big milestone in the life of any distillery.
A tiny, farm-run endeavour, Kilchoman have been punching well above their weight since they entered the whisky market with consistently excellent whisky from a very young age. I’m a big fan of their 100% Islay bottlings (which are only about 5 years old when bottled).
Nose: Jamaican Ginger cake but without the heavy molasses – more like golden syrup and brown sugar. A chalky, sooty, old stove quality around the edges of the sweetness. There’s a fragrant starchiness, too, like pilau rice. With water it gets waxy and slightly soapy.
Palate: Very thick and buttery, with sweet vanilla, lemon sherbet, and then a freight-train of peat and barrel spice: chilli peppers, tingly clove, black pepper. Water calms the spices and reveals cardamom, heather honey, boiled sweets, and some light floral camomile notes.
Finish: Cashew nuts, more cloves, and a lip-smacking ashy quality akin to the dying embers of a cigar.
This is definitely more rounded and well-integrated than its younger siblings.
The character of the spirit shines through and dominates both the nose and the palate, forcing the influence from the cask to take a back seat. Those floral, peaty flavours works incredibly well together and I hope this means we’ll see a 10-year-old at 46% become part of the core line-up.
Big thumbs up from me!
There’s samples of the Kilchoman 10th Anniversary available on Master of Malt, but not full bottles, alas.