Islay isn’t a very large island, in fact it only takes up a couple of hundred square miles. But somehow this mysterious, peat-laden isle is home to some of the most popular, colossal distilleries in Scotland.
Now the whisky world is buzzing with excitement, as a new, artisan distillery has begun producing single malt. Peaty, pungent and characterful single malt no less.
The distillery is Kilchoman, sited on a small farmstead to the West of Islay. It’s a small and traditional distillery, sourcing its ingredients from the surrounding countryside. It even boasts its own malting floors.
After being entirely stunned by the exceptional inaugural release, we couldn’t wait for what lay in store.
And this is what came next…
The Autumn 2009 release was initially aged in top quality bourbon barrels from Buffalo Trace in Kentucky, before a finish in Oloroso sherry butts from Spain. At Master of Malt we love the wonderful union of peat and sherry; this is going to be good…
Nose: Very peaty right off the bat, fiery even. Lots of pluming smoke with fruit. Earthy and herbal… Some wonderful savoury notes of Greek black olives and Foccacia bread.
Palate: Very thick and tangy with sturdy slabs of warm peat. Becomes very fruity, plummy almost, with traces of exotic spice tumbling over earthy sherry and musty citrus.
Finish: Long and punchy. Peat smoke tapering out with some caramel. Slightly floral. Then an influx of soapy dryness and more than a hint of cordite as it peters out.
Overall: Astonishing character, even at a young age!
Watch out everyone, there’s a strong contender for the Islay throne in the making.
The Chaps at Master of Malt.