Day 2 brings a very welcome surprise. This quarter cask 2016 release from Kilchoman has been on my shopping list ever since it was released. Funds and stock outs have so far prevented me from getting my own bottle. So until then, this little sample will keep me going. Assuming I like it of course!
Kilchoman is a, very small, farm based distillery on the Isle of Islay. The owner and founder of this fine little place is Mr Anthony Wills. His wife has family connections to the Island and in a previous career Anthony had his own independent bottling company making this something of a perfect, if daunting business venture for the family just over a decade ago. The whole family including Anthony’s sons all now work at the distillery as they have done from a very young age.
Kilchoman is a mere 10 years old and currently the newest working distillery on the island. It is located on the western side of the island next to Rockside farm which they have now also bought and it is from this farm they produce the barley for their 100% Islay release. They even have their own floor maltings which produces barley peated to around 20ppm (similar to bowmore). The output of the distillery is up from 90,000 litres just a few years ago to 200,000 litres in 2016 having added new washbacks recently.
The style of Kilchoman is a youthful (it would have to be) fruity strongly peated dram. It has a strong following for their small batch releases and will regularly sell out within hours for the more hotly anticipated releases.
The dram tonight is a 2010 vintage being bottled from ex-bourbon quarter casks in 2016. The smaller barrels should mean we have a more active maturation process going on and therefore a more complex and interesting experience for it. There has been no colouring added or chill filteration happening to this dram either. We have been given the full natural cask strength of 56.9%.
It is currently in stock for 72.95 at Whisky Exchange here
Colour: Lemon Juice
Nose: Lemony earthy peat not exactly billowing out the glass though
Palate (no water): sweet and fresh to start. The peat isn’t overpowering but the alcohol strength masks pretty much everything else
Palate (water):Peat makes way for apples and a more youthful attitude
Finish (no water): Peat finish develops into an ashy or charred wood complexion.
Finish (water): finish now is more about vanilla and those fruity apples again.
This definitely is better with water.
In summary, I keep thinking of this as a stronger, richer and more intense version of Macir Bay. When you think about it that makes perfect sense and is not a criticism of either bottle. I will be picking up a bottle of this hopefully next year and spending some time exploring what else this dram can offer.