Ok, what the hell happened here? I understand the necessity of a unique marketing spin, and I also understand the importance of flying the flag of 100% Islay (if for nothing other than fiercely independent pride and a well-deserved triumphant ‘We are Ileach…and this is ours!’), but honestly…this expression should not have seen a bottle yet.
Perhaps another half dozen or so years would have kicked that snotty new-make swagger to the curb, and allowed a more sensible maturity to take the reins. Put simply…this young Kilchoman actually tastes YOUNGER than it should. If tasted blind I would not at all have been surprised to hear this was only a year or so old.
The nose is spirity and grainy, and absolutely redolent of new-make (or ‘white dog’, for those more used to the North American nomenclature). It is waxy, somewhat plastic and carries the typical artificial cherry stamp of whisky just off the stills. It is smoky…but not overpoweringly so, especially if one considers that at last reckoning Kilchoman was peating to Ardbeg specs.
The palate is hot and untamed. The barley is sharp enough to cut and the peat is aggressive. Sweet notes are nowhere to found, and the whisky actually seems salted.
Sadly, though I love this distillery, I don’t even remotely like this whisky. Without question, the least enjoyable Kilchoman I’ve experienced to date. (Sigh…it hurts me to say this).
– Reviewed by: Curt
– Photo: Pat