I got a wee sample of this from the guy who owned the cask, and he asked me to review it. Of course I didn’t do that right away, since that’s not really how I operate. Shameful, but true…
A 13 year old Kilchoman, of which there are only three so far, if I’m not mistaken. This one is from a fresh bourbon barrel distilled in 2007, and bottled for Max & Julia. That doesn’t tell most people much, those names, and that’s okay.
Let’s just dive right in, since there’s good stuff ahead!
Kilchoman is maturing very nicely. This one shows signs of smoke and oak, with barley and some bakery sweetness playing second fiddle. It has an oily scents on the nose. Sun seed oil, grassy peat and a bit of engine grease.
There’s quite a lot of black pepper and sawdust on the palate. The scorched flavor of when wood is sawed too hot. Toasted oak I guess. So, smoke, oak, barley. Some heather, earthiness.
The finish goes directly back to the sun seed oil with quite a lot of peat smoke. Heather and oak. Quite a long finish, with mostly drier and drier peat remaining.
Somehow this reminds me of how I liked Caol Ila when I just started drinking whisky. It’s not that it tastes similar, but it does make me enthusiastic in the same way.
This is a very complex whisky that breaks the mould for what I find typical of Kilchoman. Generally it’s a bit more fruity and lighter than this one. But, having said that, this does go in the direction of older Caol Ila a little bit with the notes of engine grease. I absolutely love it.
Of course, compared to the other ‘oldest’ single cask I tasted last year, which was a 12 year old at € 60, this is a lot more expensive at almost € 160. However, I think it can compete with virtually any Islay whisky up to € 200-something. This will be on my shelf someday soon.
The cask owner was bold enough to tell me he expected that I wouldn’t have to lie when I said I liked it. He was right.
Kilchoman 13, 07/03/2007-25/09/2020, Fresh Bourbon Barrel 69/2007, 55.5%, OB for Max & Julia. For sale at Best of Whiskies for € 156.60