In the last couple of years one of the most highly sought after Kilchoman’s at auction was the 2014 Port cask release. This three year old whisky matured full term in a Port cask was going for well over £100 and people were making a pretty significant mark up until the unthinkable happened and Kilchoman released another batch in 2018.
With 10,000 bottles this time aged for four years there is far more bottles on the market to supply the demand directly rather than via the secondary market. This is good news for people who want to catch a bottle and taste it. Then probably still have time to get another one for another day.
The 2018 release is bottled at 50% ABV which is slightly lower than the earlier version which was 55%. The 10,000 bottles have an RRP of around £80 which is about as much as I would want to pay. Kilchoman’s generally just seem to constantly be priced to about as high as the market will suffer just now which is a bit disappointing. The colour is natural and there is not harsh filtration either to muddy up the flavour profile which adds quality. However, it also reduces cost of production which is something to always keep in mind when people ask you to pay more for them doing less.
Colour – A wonderful varnished mahogany reddish hue
Nose – The fresh fruits from the port wood bellows out massively. The soft red fruit notes are intertwined with earthy peat smoke which is thick and enveloping.
Palate – The peat smoke is more restrained on the palate than the nose. The palate generally is quite a disappointment over the intense fruity flavours which the nose was promising. Its still good and fruity just not very intense. If I was being kind I would say its enticing but in reality its just missing something.
Finish – The finish brings in the signature peat spirit from Kilchoman. The ashy dry earthy peat smoke which is such a signature piece in the house style alongside root ginger and oak tannins.
The port cask is very much in evidence in this whisky and brings out a lot of soft fruit notes. The spirit underneath is still young and bullish but isn’t hot or sharp. This release has been well received and sold well and I can see why. Of course there is some shortfalls with the short maturation time but means there isn’t a lot of depth or many layers but that will come as the distillery itself starts to age and mature.