It’s been too long since we visited Kilchoman. Our third and last visit was in May 2013 and while we will makes the pilgrimage to the distillery during the Feis Ile in 2015 it seems so far off that we thought we’d catch up with a selection of their releases from 2014. We start with the sherry finished Loch Gorm before moving to be the most recent incarnation of the 100% Islay. We then finish with the sold out Kilchoman Port Cask. While I enjoyed all three whiskies, the Port Cask stole it for me – it is a whisky that defies it’s young age with great depth and complexity and a real peaty sweetness that just makes you go for more. Enjoy the reviews, and if you find some, do enjoy the whisky.
Kilchoman Loch Gorm [46%]
Nose: Bacon, salt, burning heather. A blast of paprika before the peat and sherry come through. It is very meaty with a sprinkling of raisins. High quality.
Palate: Surprisingly gentle before the sweetness hits. The whisky becomes hot and spicy (BBQ sauce?) before becoming almost like a good red wine. The peat lingers and becomes sooty and ashy. On second tasting the peat is further pronounced and it grabs you and takes you into the enveloping storm. Reminds me of Islay kilns.
Finish: Long – it really grips the back of the mouth. Lots of sweet peat.
Kilchoman 100% Islay 4th Release [50%]
Nose: Fresh and citrusy, boat ropes and fruit salad sweets. There is a lot of tar and cooked fish in there mixed in with sea salt. A real maritime dram.
Palate: Creamy with lots of soft peat. A real assortment of apples, pastry, ginger and chili. Finally there is some brown sugar and menthol coming through the smoke.
Finish: Lots of heat and Creme Brûlée.
Kilchoman Port Cask [55%]
Nose: An enticing combination of pepper and spice entwined within the most glorious peat fragrance. Rich and decadent with the rawness of the peat coming though the delicious red fruits offered by the port cask. Quite simply this nose is staggering – it’s like a fine peaty Pinot Noir.
Palate: Full of chewy red fruits smothered in peat. There is a real intensity to this liquid, chili peppers come through strongly, before a sweetness from the Port arrives. Further examination reveals more hedgerow fruit sprinkled with dark chocolate, before an Espresso Creme Brûlée kick completes the experience.
Finish: Soft, long and sweet with a touch of peat. Perfect.