Kilchoman 2010 Vintage

2010 Vintage Header

As mentioned last week when I reviewed Kilchoman’s 100% Islay 9th Edition, today sees me sample the other brand new release from this Islay-based farm distillery; the 2010 Vintage. These vintage releases do exactly what they say on the tin, they’re a vatting of several casks which were all filled in the same year. Following on from the 2009 Vintage which was released in 2017, there’s been a departure from the original 100% bourbon maturation; the 2010 Vintage consists of whisky taken from 42 first fill bourbon barrels and 3 oloroso sherry butts. Each of these casks was filled with spirit peated to 50ppm, which is significantly higher than the 20ppm 100% Islay expression you might’ve read about on here last week.

Speaking of the release, Kilchoman founder and master distiller, Anthony Wills, said: “Ex-bourbon with small proportion of sherry maturation has always been a winner for us, it was the make-up of our early 3/4 year old Inaugural and seasonal releases and has only improved with age. Balance is a word I’m often accused of over-using in my descriptions of Kilchoman but the 2010 has it! I aspire to a perfect balance whenever I am creating new expressions, a nod to the distillery; peat smoke, citrus sweetness which develop and flourish in the bourbon barrels, as well as offering depth of character, hence the use of a small portion of sherry casks. The sherry butts really help add layers of rich fruity flavour which add to but crucially don’t overwhelm the lighter influence of the bourbon barrels.”

Let’s go.

Kilchoman 2010 Vintage
42 bourbon barrels & 3 oloroso butts
15,000 bottles
48% ABV
£74.95 here

Nose: Clean, coastal notes jump out first, with sea spray, lemongrass, wet sand, and rock salt. Then the smoke surges forward, with thick peat reek, coal bunker, and pipe tobacco smoke. There’s some honey and warm salted caramel too.

Palate: Big ashy peat smoke, with smoked lemons, BBQ’d pineapple and banana, toasted coconut, and salted, smoked almonds. Apple core and pear skins too, then charred oak and currants. There’s also a wee medicinal thing – germoline perhaps.

Finish: More pipe tobacco, rolling peat smoke and drying oak.

Overall: As with the last Kilchoman vintage, the 2009, I really enjoy the big, bold combination of up-front smoke, coastal notes, crisp citrus, and green fruits. The vintage releases are close to being my favourite range from Kilchoman – as much as I enjoy the 100% Islay expressions, the ramped up ppm in the vintage releases really adds another level of flavour and intensity to the whisky. Everything I love about Kilchoman embodied in a single bottle. Top stuff.



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