Kilchoman 100% Islay 4th Ed.

"An interesting whisky, which showcases the the origins, the raw ingredients, harbouring potential, but at this moment possibly still too young"

(Photo from Whiskybase)

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Advertised as the world’s only single farm single malt, Kilchoman releases limited batches of the 100% Islay each year to showcase their character. Completely produced at their so-called farm distillery from growing the barley to filling the bottle, the bottlings are released after a short maturation period of 4 to 5 years. Peat levels have also been reduced to 20 ppm. Today we will be tasting the 4th version, which is only matured in first-fill bourbon barrels, while the the latest version, the 8th, also contains spirit from Oloroso sherry casks.

Nose

A slow starter probably with not too much going on in the nose. A very light smokiness and a few pinches of salt, some barley sugar, apples, and sour dough. It is starting to talk more loudly with in particular more oranges, and becomes better and better with more other fruits, including some barely ripe mango and papaya, a spoon of pumpkin puree. It remains light, with a large new make-y character, notes of agricôle white rum, agave, like in mezcal.

Taste

Pretty punchy with a sandy, salty peat, which I find quite typical of Kilchoman. It appears very pure with good healthy grains (not like in grain whisky mind you), breads, sesame or poppy seeds, pine resin, and more breads. Very nice, very good, but, eh, young. Then more smoke, slightly acrid, a hint of glue and sour dough. It remains very fresh, with some added lemon juice, tar, and mezcal.

Overall

An interesting whisky, which I believe showcases its origins, the raw ingredients like barley, peat and yeast. It certainly harbours potential, but at this moment I find it still too young, too green. Wait a few years and this might become a great whisky. Wait, this was released in 2014, so maybe the latest version could prove this point. Anyway, other spirits (rum, mezcal) have shows that white spirits can be great, so maybe one day whisky will join that club.

What others say

Whiskybase: 82.23 (140 votes) * @TheWhiskeyJug: 90-92/100 * @ScotchMaltWhisky: 91/100 * @WhiskySaga 85/100
Read for yourself

Big thanks to for sharing the sample!

Scores

these are my personal views, so do not take them too seriously… nothing beats tasting these for yourself •

Cask influence
35%
Peat/smoke
40%
  • Grains
  • Breads
  • Sour dough
Nose 86.5%
Taste 85%
Balance 86%
Depth 83%
Finish 84%
Score