In my seemingly endless stash of samples (I really should stop buying bottle shares…) I recently found this sample from The Whisky Exchange. It somehow got in the back of the box and I can’t really keep track of each and every Kilchoman that comes by. There’s quite a lot of those…
Anyway, a very young Kilchoman finished in a Pedro Ximenez cask, which means it can’t be a long finish either. Four years of maturation doesn’t really warrant finishing for years, so I expected this finish to be a thin layer over the bourbon cask base of the whisky.
In a way, according to the SWA this is an illegal whisky, but this rule has never been enforced as far as I know. According to information I got from them in 2012 (via Gal) a single cask can only be called a single cask if it’s been in the same cask from distillation to bottling. With a finish, that’s never the case.
I’m not trying to get this stuff off the market since I don’t really care what the SWA thinks about many things. In fact, apart from doing legal battle in, for example, India to protect the name and reputation of Scotch Whisky, I don’t agree with much of their regulations and I think they inhibit progress and innovation.
What does matter, is how good this whisky might be.
There’s lots of untamed peat on the nose and a light hint of wood. Some malt and quite a bit of sweetness and smoke. The sherry is, as expected, not very big and the bourbon cask influence is maybe still bigger than the PX. Some red fruits.
The palate is rather sharp, hot and peppery. Sweet fruits, sponge cake and sherry trifle. Some fruit mix, the canned kind, and bread. The heat keeps building.
The finish really shows typical Kilchoman notes. Peat, smoke, fruits. There’s also the more uncommon notes of the fruit mix and trifle.
As I expected the bourbon cask is more present than the sherry finish. The latter has nicely added a bit of sweetness and some other fruits. This combination of flavors makes for a slightly more interesting release from the tiny Islay distillery.
However… There’s always a ‘however’…
However, with the plethora of Kilchoman bottlings out there, it doesn’t really stand out. With 273 different whisky releases (not counting the spirit) in less than 8 years it’s hard to find a truly unique bottling, and this one isn’t it.
Keep in mind that this is far from a bad whisky! It’s just a bit, well, forgettable. And not just the sample sitting in the back of your cupboard.
Kilchoman 2010-2015, 4yo, PX finish from cask 679/2010, 58.3%, OB for The Whisky Exchange. Available there for € 115.
Thanks to The Whisky Exchange to give me a sample!