Kilchoman is a “new” distillery on Islay (2005) which is showing no fear and no weakness in its entrance straight into the big league (its pretty tough sharing your geographic designation with Ardbeg, Bowmore, Bruichladdich, Bunnahabain, Coal Ila, Lagavulin and Laphroaig!). Kilchoman has its own maltings, grows its own barley and has an expression entirely produced at the farm/distillery to show that off. This focus on terroir inevitably shows through in the quality of the distillate and the whisky.
I bought a bottle of their second club release simply because it entered the world on the same day my daughters entered the world – so I won’t be tasting that until 2031. However I did secure a sample of the new 2007 vintage to try at the same time.
Kilchoman 2007 Vintage (6yo), 46% A+
Nose – Fresh fruit, peat, fresh cut cherries. A dusty, wooded edge with barley and backed by phenols. Really fruit, fresh peat nose, beautifully done. A university library (un-laminated books, floor cleaner, linoleum, dust and polished wooden book cases).
Body – Fresh apples (without skin), barley, some numbing citrus. Very fresh but structured, no off notes, lovely integration.
Finish – Reasonably long, good peat fire and finish, well balanced. Wood bitterness very well balanced right to the end. Extremely well made, big fan.
What's not good about it: Not quite a blockbuster yet.
What’s good about it: Clean, fresh, fruity, well balanced, refreshing, effortless, beautifully made.
Many thanks to Kilchoman distillery for the sample.