Sunday, May 13, 2012

The New Kid in Town

Kilchoman Spring 2011 Release
3-4 years old
46% ABV

Every 120 years or so, someone decides to build a new distillery on Islay.  In 2005, that distillery was Kilchoman.  One man (with 900,000 pounds) decided that a farm distillery on Islay would be a good idea.  As a farm distillery, the whisky is completely produced on site -  the barely used in production is grown and malted at the distillery, and the bottling and storage occurs on the farm as well.

The distillery is on the western side of the island, about 5 miles from Bruichladdich.  Unlike the other Islay distilleries, Kilchoman in situated inland.  I wonder if in the future, more matured expressions will differ from the neighbors' a little bit without the constant buffering of sea air.

Onto the whisky:
Color: Classic Islay pale straw.  Even though the whiskey got a few extra weeks in sherry casks, there’s not a lot of evidence in the appearance.  With a mix of the three and four year old, you wouldn’t expect there to be.

Nose: Pure Islay here.  It doesn’t matter that it’s a three year old, the peat and the smoke are here in large quantities.  A little vanilla as well.

Taste: The peat’s still there, but more mild than I expected based on the nose.  You can taste some berry fruits as well.

Finish: This is where I could really tell Kilchoman was still a toddler – the finish was very thin and short with virtually no peatiness.

Overall, it was a good representative of an Islay whisky.  If they’ve achieved this much in six years, I think Kilchoman may be one to watch.

1 comment:

  1. I don't think Kilchoman will get much if any less sea air than its neighbours. Their own warehouse is only about a mile from the shore, the westerlies will easy blown in there, possibly easier than some of the other distilleries. In addition they are renting space in some of Bruichladdich's warehouses in Port Charlotte. Some of Bruichladdich's, Bowmore's and Laphroaig's warehouses are not that much close to exposed shores.

    Not to forget that for some of the distilleries part of their whisky isn't even matured on Islay, but on the mainland. But that's a different topic.