Kilchoman

   

Kilchoman distillery now has the honour of being Scotland's most westerly distillery as it is located near the small town of Kilchoman on Western Islay.

It was founded in 2005, or at least production began that year with the first casks being filled on 14th December.

Kilchoman is a small "farm" distillery at Rockside Farm and even uses barley grown on site, it also has its own floor maltings, one of only six distilleries in Scotland to do so.

Independently owned by Kilchoman Distillery Co. Ltd

 
 

Photo from Wapedia (photographer unknown) via Creative Commons License

   

 

 

General whisky characteristics: Smooth warming peat and fruit

   

 

   

Kilchoman, Spring 2011 release, 46% ABV

First fill & refill bourbon casks

Typical cost of this bottle;

Reviewed as part of MMA 2011

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Very pale yellow

Nose: Initially quite grappa-like with fruity alcohol, then turning into very maritime whisky (salty, sea-air) and followed again by a lightly smoky peatiness, but with a suggestion of bilge pumps.

Palate: Very fruity, in fact it even reminds me of a German pear-schnaps called obstler but with a faint smokiness. This has lots of fruit!

Finish: Long and tingling.

Overall Impression: It does offer some 'young' attributes, but this is a very good whisky.

 

   
   

Kilchoman, Winter 2010 release, 46% ABV

Typical cost of this bottle;

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Very pale straw

Nose: Initial burst of creamy fruit soon turns into sweet fruity peat. The fruitiness appears to be very creamy (read ice cream) and quite tropical, with the slightest hint of dark chocolate and coffee beans as it leads into the finish.

Palate: Slightly bitter fruit here compared to the sweeter more tropical nose as the fruitiness on the palate is definitely sharper, reminding me more of green apples, unripe pears or even yellow or white currants picked straight from the bush.

Finish: Long with those yellow or white currants.

Overall Impression: Make no mistake, this is still a peaty dram and possibly my favourite so far from Kilchoman, but that fruity development is extremely interesting.

 

   
   

Kilchoman, Spring 2010 release, 46% ABV

Typical cost of this bottle;

Dram-atics "Advent-urous" live review

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Light yellow with a hint of amber

Nose: Fruity rubber with a hint of salty wood.

Palate: This starts with aromatic rubber, soon developing a hint of raspberry and fresh wood, then after a few minutes banana and pear appear to lead into the finish.

With 4 drops of water: The nose develops a little more smoky rubber as the palate loses much of the fruit to concentrate on peat and smoke.

Finish: Very long with smoky fruit.

Overall Impression: Kilchoman is indeed ageing very nicely and this is excellent with the 4 drops of water.

 

   
   

Kilchoman, 3y, Autumn 2009 release, 46% ABV

Typical cost of this bottle;

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Warm gold

Nose: Warm peat baked in a honey crust.

Palate: Very warming with a pleasant glow across the whole palate. Light peat with gentle fruit (banana, apple & peach) paired with Atlantic sea-air.

Finish: Very long.

Overall Impression: This is really maturing nicely but still a little young at 3y. I am looking forward to this at 8y+

Revisiting this after a few days:

Nose: Just the same, gently warming peat with a slight honey-style sweetness lingering in the background.

Palate: Peat and creamy fruit.

Finish: Very long and quite intense.

Overall Impression: Yes I would love to try this in a few years time!

 

   
   

Kilchoman, new spirit, distilled 23.4.2008, bottled 23.3.2009, 63.5% ABV

bourbon cask, 50ppm, Optic barley

Typical cost of this bottle;

 
 

Glass: Spiegelau

Colour: Extremely pale yellow, only just coloured water

Nose: Beneath the alcohol burn (well it is 63.5%) is a sweet summer-fruit salad in a bowl of peat, dressed with heather. After a few minutes the peat recedes to leave a little apple, pear and a fine chardonnay grappa, with just a faint hint of new rubber. (That reminds me, it's almost time to pet the winter tyres on the car)

Palate: Smooth, oily and huge. The apple, pear and grappa immediately assault the palate and refuse to leave, tantalising the tongue for an eternity, although this does turn quite dry after just a few moments.

With 3 drops of water: The peat immediately returns and dominates the nose, whereas the palate is even smoother and longer with a perfumed mixture of peat and fruit.

With 3 more drops of water: The rubber returns to dominate the nose and a little almond joins the apple and grappa on the palate.

Finish: Extremely long and if anything, it gets longer with each addition of water.

Overall Impression: I am impressed! In fact so impressed, I'll be back to this one soon!

 

   

 

 

 

Kilchoman, Inaugural 100% Islay, bottled 2011, 50% ABV

Typical cost of this bottle;

Reviewed (blind) as part of MMA 2012

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Extremely pale yellow

Nose: Gentle earthy peatiness delivered in an aged barn as there's definitely more than a hint of aged woodiness here too.

Palate: A lovely warming peatiness just expands across the palate accompanied by a tingly light fruitiness.

Finish: Very long and repeating, nice.

Overall Impression: This starts small but grows exponentially. I really love what this turns into with just a little time. Excellent whisky and very typically Islay.

 

   

 

 

 

Kilchoman, Machir Bay, 46% ABV

Typical cost of this bottle;

 
 

Glass: Bugatti Kelch

Colour: Pale (9ct) yellow gold

Nose: Initially briny and peaty and the peatiness just expands further with time in the glass. After some minutes a suggestion of light fudge develops. With further time more (briny) Atlantic character appears and becomes very fresh and clean.

Palate: Creamy vanilla and salty peat come immediately to the fore, followed by a hint of camphor which is slightly dry on the palate.

With 4 drops of water: Wow, vanilla and melon ice cream!

Finish: Very long.

Overall Impression: Surprisingly different to the other Kilchomans I've tried, especially with that vanilla and melon ice cream effect. But surprisingly good too.

 

   
 

 

Kilchoman, Single Cask, 20.9.2006 - 10.3.2011, 60.4% ABV

Bourbon, cask No. 249/06

Typical cost of this bottle;

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Light yellow gold

Nose: Smoky, salty fruit prevails initially until the frutiiness (mainly peach) fades, allowing the saltiness and peatiness to expand. After some minutes there's a distinct rubbery peatiness here.

Palate: Rich peaty smokiness with a hint of salt in the background. Also a suggestion of peach and raspberry but this does seem to need some water.

With 4 drops of water: The nose is considerably lighter and much more fruity. The palate is also softer and more gentle and the peatiness is less intense, giving way to that fruitiness of peach and raspberry.

Finish: Very long and only slowly fading.

Overall Impression: Very intense without water, much more sohpisticated with. Nice.

 

   
 

 

Kilchoman, Sherry Cask, 15.11.2006 - 26.9.2011, 60% ABV

Sherry, cask No. 322/2006

Typical cost of this bottle;

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Pale yellow

Nose: Slightly rubbery red wine, more Beaujolais Nouveau than Chateuneuf Du Pape. Also with an impression of slight staleness.

Palate: Creamy mouth-feel with a little more peatiness than the nose offered. I'm also sensing vanilla and cantaloupe melon with fruity light red wine over the smokiness.

With 4 drops of water: Somehow I felt apprehensive about adding water to this one, but when I did it really developed more smokiness and less of the fruit and red wine on the nose. The palate now suggests smoky vanilla and melon.

Finish: Long.

Overall Impression: Am I pleased I added that 4 drops of water, they made it considerably better, in fact taking it from being a very average whisky to a pretty good one.

 

   

 

 

Independent Bottlers (IB)

   
   

The Whisky Exchange, Kh1,  59.7% ABV

"Elements of Islay" range

Typical cost of this bottle;

Live Dram-atics review

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Very pale yellow

Nose: Initially offers a light and fresh smokiness which expands almost medicinally and antiseptically. There's also a hint of redcurrants in the background. Fresh countryside with lots of fresh air and peaty fruit now prevail after some minutes.

Palate:
There's an exceptional balance between peat and fruit, even alternating between the two with more time on the palate.

Finish: Very long with generous amounts of peat and fruit.

Overall Impression: I love this truly excellent whisky.

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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