Kilchoman Loch Gorm 2018 & Port Cask Matured

Kilchoman Distillery

A new month, and some new whisky. Two new whiskies, actually. Kilchoman’s annual release of Loch Gorm is usually accompanied with a 100% Islay expression, but that has been shifted to an autumn launch and has made way for the second release of the highly regarded Port Cask Matured. First released in 2014 to much acclaim, the 2018 edition is limited to 10,000 bottles and is a vatting of thirty ruby port hogsheads which were each filled in 2014. This year’s Loch Gorm is limited to 15,000 bottles and contains whisky from nineteen oloroso sherry butts which were filled in 2007, 2008 and 2011.

Anthony Wills, founder of Kilchoman Distillery, said of the whiskies: “Historically our port and sherry matured releases have received a very positive response from the whisky community, I think the 2018 editions are probably the best versions of these expressions we’ve released to date so I’m excited to see the how these latest editions are received.”

So, let’s receive them.

Kilchoman Port Cask Matured
2018 Release
10,000 bottles
50% ABV
£84.95 here

Nose: A touch of menthol to begin, with some nice, clean, coastal notes, and an almost mineralic edge. Then there’s charred orange peel, lemon, salted limes, camphor, smoked apricots, raisins, treacle, chocolate tiffin and barbequed berries (?).

Palate: Red berry sweetness to begin, with strawberries, plum jam, currants, and some honey glazed ribs. Underneath, there’s a cinnamon and ginger spice with some copper pennies, leather and sweet tobacco. Quite lively.

Finish: Dry twigs, leather again and woodsmoke.

Kilchoman Loch Gorm
2018 Release
15,000 bottles
46% ABV
£84.95 here

Nose: Aromatic woodspice – cinnamon, clove, nutmeg – with rum soaked raisins, well fed trifle, chocolate orange, black bananas and thick cut marmalade. Possibly even some sweet vermouth? There’s also some unlit cigar and gentle, ashy smoke.

Palate: Morello cherries, blackberries, salted caramel, manuka honey, smoked marzipan and sultana cake. There’s a nice earthy, herbal side too, with caraway, heather, dry compost and smoked almonds. Then the slightly ashy smoke is back along with wet logs, cask stave and dry rubbed ribs.

Finish: Sweetly earthy, with old oak, dark chocolate and wispy barbeque smoke.

Overall: I enjoyed the Port Cask Matured a lot; the fruit is there, the coastal notes are there and the smoke is there, but it’s not quite as integrated as I’d hoped. Granted, this whisky is barely four years old and so once that’s taken into consideration, it’s a remarkable liquid. Give it a few more years and this could really be stunning whisky. The Loch Gorm never fails to deliver for me, and the 2018 edition is one of the best editions I’ve tasted, possibly due to some relatively old stock being used. It’s perhaps not as full-on barbeque-y as previous expressions, but it’s rounded, layered, juicy, smoky and, quite frankly, fucking tasty.

 

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