Kilchoman Sherry Single Cask (bottled by Royal Mile Whiskies)

Kilchoman

You know, on the day in the build up to trying this dram, I felt rotten. Proper rotten. My brain felt like it was coming out of my ears. My stomach grumbled like some sort of injured bear. No idea why I felt like this. Maybe too much partying over the last few weeks. Whatever the reason, I was not a happy chappy. Then I got given a sample of this. A dram sorts out many things, and I actually did feel much better after tasting it (screw paracetamol!). This dram encouraged some musings on my part, which I will share just now (sharing is caring after all).

Just to declare, I work for the wine/beer/spirits arm of Royal Mile Whiskies, that being Drinkmonger. So I don’t want to say too much about this dram, since as a team we try to avoid writing opinions on drams from companies we work for (e.g. this “whisky is brilliant, you should buy it!” or “this is awful, steer clear!”). But I do like to support the little companies like Kilchoman, so I will write something. What I will say, is that it is really baconey, oily and a little fruity (notice, I am not saying whether I liked it or not). And that got me to wondering. Where does this bacon/meatiness come from? I notice it all the time with Bruichladdich’s Port Charlotte bottlings (which are my favourite Bruichladdichs). Almost like a BBQ sauce. Sweet, smokey and rich in combination. Is it where they cut the spirit? Is it the nature of young peaty spirit? Do many distilleries that use peat show this at a young age, which then disappears as it gets older?

This got me thinking about young peaty whiskies. The ones I have tried have generally been very good, in comparison to young non-peated spirit. Is it just that the peat covers imperfections? Is young peated whisky just really good? Is young peated whisky better than its older counterparts? I haven’t had enough tasting experience to say, so I would be very interested to hear from folks who have tried young Lagavulins, young Laphroaigs and young Bowmores. Get in touch!

Chris Hoban

Oh and P.S. Every other Kilchoman I have tried has been awesome! Absolutely brilliant, especially when you consider it’s age. You will have to try this one to find out if it is as good. I’m saying nothing. Well, apart from saying that it cures headaches!

Comments

  1. An Islay dram where ‘medicinal’ is more than just a tasting note!

    I, too, have loved every Kilchoman I have laid my hands on but to see ‘Sherry Cask’ emblazoned on the label so stridently, I have my misgivings. I don’t know why this should be, as a proportion of all each of the releases I have tasted came into contact with Sherry oak to some degree. Maybe I have been somewhat underwhelmed by the Distillers’ Editions of Lagavulin and Talisker, and developed a distrust of peaty drams coming out of wine barrels. With this Islay starlet, perhaps I ought to reserve judgement.

    I’d settle for a Machir Bay in the meantime, though. Glad you’re feeling better, Chris.

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