It’s a cracker.
11.6.2009 - 17.7.2014, Cask number 285/2009, 4.5 years in fresh bourbon barrel, followed by 4 months in a PX cask. Only available from Abbey Whisky.
Nose - Dark, medicinal peat, a little raw sugar, BBQ char-sui pork in hoisin sauce, lots of seville orange juice and dried fruit - raisins and mixed peel. With water, some more sweet shop fruit notes (midget gems and travel sweets) comes through as well as a little (for once, lit) cigarette.
Body - Phenolic, sweet and bitter, toasted, ashen sherry. Intensely sweet in fact, and balanced with ashes with something like aspirin at the back of the throat.
Finish - Long, young, a touch raw, very spicy and tons of numbing ashes. Fizzing refreshers around the side of the palate and lingering sweet fruit against the peat. Rather moreish.
What’s not good about it - A little raw, but offset by the intensity. Lacks complexity. A touch expensive. As with other young, intensely sherried whiskies I’ve had this strays a little into “cocktail” due to the extreme influence of the sherry. I personally don’t see that as a bad thing though.
What’s good about it - Intense sherry Islay experience, deep dark PX, loads of zesty citrus, balanced by long, all consuming ash and bandages. I hope there are some PX casks at Kilchoman with spirit sitting in them full term!