This Kilchoman finished, not matured, in a Tequila cask is one of the many bottlings for The Nectar‘s 15th anniversary. Where I thought The Nectar was a bottler, they are also a sizeable importer for Belgium, focusing on all kinds of independent spirits.
This bottlings is on of their celebratory ones, which I managed to pick up in Luxemburg when I was there in October. Most people in The Netherlands know that Luxemburg generally is fairly cheap when it comes to alcohol and other excised goods. Cigarettes and petrol come to mind, of course.
For groceries, and because of the quality whisky selection I went to Shopping Center Massen instead of staying in Belgium and selecting a supermarket equally distant, but not across the border. I was there 3.5 years ago during our summer holiday, when I thought their whisky selection was decent. Apparently things have changed since what they then had as a whisky selection, they now had as rum selection, and their whisky selection had quintupled in the meantime.
Prices are also very decent, but you’ll have to keep an eye on Whiskybase since not everything is cheaper there. Generally it is, but there are exceptions. This one was, though. The cheapest it is available through Whiskybase, at the time of writing, is € 105, and at Massen I picked it up for € 85. Quite a difference, if you ask me.
Anyway, back to the whisky at hand. Kilchoman has been experimenting quite heavily with Tequila and Mezcal casks recently, and they have been popping up all over the place. Of course, using a new kind of cask is interesting, but not necessarily good. I can imagine Tequila and Mezcal clashing quite hard with whisky, but you can’t knock it till you rock it, so here we go!
Upon pouring the whisky the peat comes forward straight away. It’s definitely not a shy dram! When you start sniffing the whisky it brings all the typical Kilchoman scents. Brine, peat, seaweed, straw and some oak. But, if you pay attention there’s a green ‘zinginess’ behind it all. The fattiness of agave is present too.
The palate packs quite a punch and its youthfulness makes itself known. Kilchoman tends to be quite a clean whisky with lots of barley and peat leading the way and this one is no different. But, again, if you pay attention there’s something different. The agave is noticeable but it’s not a high note. It’s slightly syrupy and fatty, but these notes are trying to hide, or so it seems.
The finish is a bit more liberal with the ‘strange one out’ notes than before. There’s definitely some agave greenness, although still subtle.
The good is that this is still a very well made whisky, which is rather typical of Kilchoman. The tequila notes aren’t bad either, but you do have to pay attention to pick up on them, which I think is a bit of a miss. When trying something new I understand the restraint, but the ‘newness’ should be a bit more noticeable in my book.
So, I guess we’ll have to try some Tequila or Mezcal cask finished drams to really have something to say about the usage of these casks. However, if you spend some money on this, you won’t be disappointed in the quality of the dram. You might be disappointed in how much Tequila you’re getting though.