Kilchoman Inaugural Release Review

Kilchoman Inaugural Release

46% abv

Score:  88.5/100


Here it is.  After much anticipation, the first official whisky produced from Islay’s youngest distillery, Kilchoman.  Gotta be honest too…this is a one-in-a-million success story.  The distillery, that is, not just this expression.  Kilchoman have managed to develop a sweet and unique whisky, the likes of which some distilleries with much more age to their credit are still struggling to come to terms with.

Is it perfect?  Of course not.  No whisky is.  Without question though, I can attest that even at three years old, this is a dram to be reckoned with.  I can’t wait to try this as a 12 year old malt in a few years.

The nose is scrappy and chock full of win.  Sort of a Rocky Balboa fighting spirit from this underdog distillery.  Licorice, iodine, citrus zest, raw smoke and earthy peat lead the charge.  There is a brininess reminiscent of capers and bonfire and maple bacon as well.

Drinking the stuff reveals salt and smoke in healthy doses (which works well, as I healthily dosed myself in Kilchoman!) with cracked black pepper.  Certainly a young and bracing delivery, but offset nicely with some sweetness.  The fade is all crunchy Granny Smith apple and smoke.  Warm and long lasting.

This really is a damn good whisky.  In fact, better than nearly all of the really young malts (under 5 y.o., that is) I’ve tried.  More than holds up to the hype that built early, and promises a very…very bright future.

Perhaps an extra point for being so bloody good at such a young age.  Remarkable.


– Reviewed by:  Curt

– Photo:  Curt

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