Kilchoman 100% Islay 10th Edition

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As autumn approaches, it heralds several annual releases from a number of brands, with possibly my favourite being Kilchoman’s 100% Islay Edition. This lightly peated expression is made entirely from, you guessed it, barley grown on the Island itself, with everything from malting to bottling taking place at Kilchoman. This new edition has been created from Optic and Publican barley varieties grown in 2007, 2009 and 2010, and consists of a vatting of 39 bourbon barrels and two oloroso butts.

Kilchoman Founder Anthony Wills commented: “Our 100% Islay whiskies are special, they both reflect the traditions of Scotch whisky production and examine the increasing interest in the detail of how single malt is made. With our 100% Islay range we control every element of the whisky-making process ourselves, from barley variety through to individual casks selected for bottling. It means we are able to adapt our methods and inputs to maximise the character of the whisky in the glass.”

Here goes.

Kilchoman 100% Islay 10th Edition
9 years old
12,400 bottles
50% ABV
£72.95 here

Nose: Initially floral before moving to clean citrus notes of salted lemons, sweet grapefruit, and rockpools. Smoked pineapple and coconut come through with a light medicinal note; germoline, perhaps.

Palate: Those sweet citrus notes burst through first, with lemonade and lime peel, then there’s hickory smoked apples, camphor, peat hearth, and mineralic and herbal notes. Empty seafood shells (clams, mussels etc) and wet sand.

Finish: Now the smoke becomes the dominant force, with dry, aromatic peat reek, and smoked lemons.

Overall: As ever with these 100% Islay editions, the balance between the light peat smoke, the clean coastal and citrus notes, and the touches of medicinal and mineralic notes is fantastic. As much as I enjoy Kilchoman’s heavily peated expressions, I really like this lightly peated (20ppm) style of whisky – it allows you to explore the subtleties of the spirit, and arguably provides a more rounded tasting experience. Delicious.

 

 

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