Kilchoman 100% Islay 7th Edition (blind)

"The annual release of Kilchoman that is completely produced on Islay, ligher in peat, higher in alcohol, but with the typical Kilchoman peat"

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Some distilleries are easier to recognise than others, which is of course also a personal thing. I have that with Kilchoman (apparently, as I found during the blind tasting competition). From the word go I was pretty sure this was originating from this fairly new, but already famous distillery. Their standard range consists nowadays of the bourboncask- matured Machir Bay, the sherried-cask matured Sanaig and Loch Gorm, and finally the 100% Islay. As the name says, this is grown, malted, distilled and matured on Islay, and contains less peat (20 ppm versus 50 ppm for the rest that comes from Port Ellen maltings) and is slightly upped in alcohol (50% versus 46%). This information I got from their website, which is certainly worth a look. Probably, one of the best distillery websites that I have seen.

Nose

Very ashy and penetrating peat on a bed of sweet vanilla. It is clearly less peated compared to the Machir Bay, which I have  in my collection, but possesses the same kind of sweetness. Almost completely burned down wood, a full ashtray with cigarettes and cigars, and too enthusiastically barbecued fish. Over time the nose becomes softer with the sweetness more on the foreground accompanied by beach sand and wet stones. Not overly complex, but rewarding. 

Taste

Same notes that we found in the nose with mostly ashy peat and vanilla in the background. There is also a coastal influence with some brine, see weed and wet stones. And beach sand, lots of it. Shellfish, oysters, mackerel, even hints of my beloved herring. The ashy peat is in particular strong at the tip of the tongue, but quickly softens into this wide array of coastal aroma’s together with vanilla and a hint of coconut. That must be the language of the bourbon casks. The finish is substantial with a combination of light ashy peat and coconut.

Overall

What a triumph!! Well, I am not talking about the whisky (which is good, by the way), but the fact that I guessed the distillery and the bottling correct. Funny, that this was so recognisable for me. The whisky is a good one, although I do not detect too much difference with the Machir Bay, beside less peat. It is more expensive though.

What others thought

Competition day #14

Kilchoman 100% Islay 7th Edition

Whiskybase: 84.96 (72 votes) Contestants: 7.7/10

This sample was part of the

Scores

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

Cask influence
45%
Peat/smoke
70%
Nose 86%
Taste 85%
Balance 86%
Depth 84%
Finish 85%
Score