Cask type: 42 Ex-Bourbon Barrels, 3 Oloroso Sherry Butts, Vintage: 2010, Bottled: October 2019, Age: 9 yo, Strength: 48,0 % abv, Phenol level: 50 ppm, Number of bottles: 15.000, Bottle size: 0,7 l / 0,75 l, Bottle code:
V10 04.10.19 19/116, V10 11.10.19 19/116, Distribution: worldwide.
The last and fifth edition of the biennial Vintage series is a vatting of 45 barrels – 42 ex-Bourbon Barrels and 3 Oloroso Sherry Butts – all filled in 2010. The 9-year-old whisky was bottled at 48% alcohol content, as usual at Kilchoman, not coloured and not chill filtered. The 15.000-bottle release went on sale on 16 October 2019, in the UK at a price of £73.50.Kilchoman Whisky
While the first 3 editions of the Vintage series were matured exclusively in Bourbon barrels, this was changed with the last release to a vatting of mainly Bourbon and some Oloroso Sherry casks. This time the ratio is about 85% Bourbon to 15% Sherry. Kilchoman has tried combining bourbon and sherry barrels of different ages and blending ratios since its first bottlings in 2009. Anthony Wills stressed that a blending ratio of approximately 85:15 results in a particularly good balance between the vanilla and citrus notes of the bourbon barrels and the spicy tones of the sherry butts.
Heading towards mid gold in colour here, it has a very thick swirl line in my Copita, and drops a handful of syrupy thick slow legs.
Straight away we’re diving into sweet peat. I have to say, for the l first time tasting a whisky, this is like a smoked pork sausage and sweet yellow pickle. The peat is coming across quite strong, definitely stronger than a “smokiness”, and fits nicely into aromas expected from an Islay distillery.
There are botanicals here, hot Yorkshire puddings, a little cut grass, with a touch of mezcal, and the red bobbly sweets in a bag of liquorice allsorts.
The mouthfeel here is quite nice, and the palate initially is a little different from the nose.
There are quite a lot of dark fruits coming through, straight away. They mix well with the peat, and there is a medicinal feel in general. Peat and sherried dark fruits are a fantastic pairing for me, the overlap brings new flavours. Black cherries, figs, dates, and germoline.
More time and I’d say it sweetens and becomes earthy too, pushing away from the initial centre ground. Tropical fruits and black coffee, cigar leaves, and dunnage. The mezcal kind of note from the nose also makes it late on.
The finish is medium in length, and to be honest the palate continues on through until the end. The spices and peat last well, sweetness runs alongside too.
KIlchoman, now here is a distillery that seem to have its fans and detractors. Personally fall on the fans side of the fence in general, though i have tasted one from them that didn’t do it for me, seems it is impossible to keep all of the people happy all of the time.
This is another sample iv’e had for a while now, i’d forgotten i had it in all honesty, and when i looked to see what it was it did raise a smile of possible enjoyment. After spending time with it i have to say i rather enjoyed it. I had no idea of the PPM this whisky had to offer, and was pleasantly surprised by how high it is, definitely more than “smokey” for me. I was also surprised by the amount of dark fruit notes on the palate, the nose didn’t really give that away. Those dark fruit sweetness and spices mix wonderfully with the peat.
All things considered, yes i think it’s a lovely whisky, i’d definitely have a bottle in my whisky cupboard.
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