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Kilchoman Machir Bay

(70cl, 46%)

Kilchoman Machir Bay

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Kilchoman Machir Bay Bottling Note

Kilchoman's Machir Bay is an excellent single malt Scotch whisky from the isle of Islay. The distillers use whisky which has been matured in ex-bourbon barrels and Oloroso Sherry butts, resulting in a well-balanced flavour profile, with highlights of vanilla biscuits, light fruit and wafts of warm peat smoke. A top expression from Islay's farm distillery.

Tasting Note by The Chaps at Master of Malt

Nose: Citrus zests, crumbly vanilla biscuits and layers of elegant peat smoke.

Palate: A generous burst of tropical fruit and dried raisin opens the palate. Warming smoke continues to waft playfully.

Finish: Sherried fruits and sprinkle of cracked black pepper.

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Kilchoman Machir Bay Reviews

Makes for a lovely Old Fashioned

This is a go-to favorite of mine and it's presence on a bar usually signals a better than average scotch selection. Along with 12 year Caol Ila this sits prominently and perpetually half-full in my office. I like this neat or with a splash of water. Try this in an old fashioned - I don't think you'd regret it.

7th October 2020

very pleasant.

Based on smell, taste and drinkability, I can recommend this without hesitation.
Reading some of the negative comments below, I can only suggest that these people try adding cokeacola!!! Enough said.

14th September 2020

Reasonably good but Quarter Cask is better

It has been a while since I had a Kilchoman in my collection so seeing this in the sale made me think it was time to become reacquainted. yes, this is a decent NAS Islay malt @46% and non-chillfiltered. However, on the same evening I compared it to Laphroaig's Quarter Cask (which I bought for £33) - another NAS Islay malt this time @48% and ncf - and Quarter Cask, to my taste, was far superior. I'll enjoy the rest of my Kilchoman but next time I'll stick to the QC.

31st May 2020

Sufficiently different to ensure it’s market.

I’ve wanted to try this for quite some time, your recent offer made it a ‘must do’. I wasn’t disappointed, it’s an Islay, but not like any other. Notes of hazel nut/almond with an honey/Amaretto like finish, This is a bit special, the finish isn’t long lasting, but pleasant and satisfying. This is a very worthy addition to the Islay malts, and sufficiently different to generate its own following. Delicious!

30th May 2020

Classy but pricey

Spotted this in The Britannia pub, a short walk away from the Shard in London. Great pub with a huge range of whiskies, including this one. The merest splash of water opened it up, and there it was, smoky loveliness. Not overpowering or medicinal but smoky enough. A smashing dram, but at the price I would have been sneaped if it hadn't been. Lovely but fierce on the pocket.

27th February 2020

Brilliant drink

My husband, a long time Islay drinker, insists this is THE BEST one he has ever tasted.

13th February 2020

First dram is perfect but doesn't age as well

The first dram of this extraordinary, the smell, the colour, the taste. However, the second and third dram are less impressive. Something about it lingers a little 'thick' (for lack of a better word) in the mouth.

Still a cracker of a whiskey for the price, and a young distillery.

12th January 2020

A wonderful Islay dram.

Tastes warm and peaty. Not a lot of smoke on the nose but a little vanilla, and a touch of fruit. Nice finish with lots of peaty peppery goodness.

25th December 2019

a new word spoken on Islay - the latest distillery yet the most innovative

a 2-3 step beyond Islay's malts. Peat is gentle, and enhances the "basis", which reveals lots of parfums and flavours. A really different whisky, which confirms the Kilchoman's philosophy, a project well defined and better achieved. I tried the 100% Islay (either 8th Edition either Single Cask) and Sanaig, and all have a "soul", you feel (and taste) that Kilchoman's releases have something very special and different from the mass production which almost represents the whisky world today (production mostly for sales and profit = smooth and "sweet" malts everyone may like and buy). I thank KIlchoman owner who had the courage to start a new era and philosophy on whisky making, hoping he and his distillery would keep on making whiskies like the ones KIlchoman releases.

24th September 2019

Average NAS peated expression

Smells like tequila and peat. Tastes the same.
Fine but not good or excellent. Bit too young, smoke covering up some of the short comings. Certainly not worth £10 more than laphroaig 10 and for a few extra pounds Ardbeg 10 is a much better whisky.

22nd June 2019

Too expensive

Far too expensive for what it is. For the money there are too many better age stated options. It’s far too young to be as much as it is. Probably the worst Islay that’s readily available. Nothing special about it at all. Needs more time in the cask before it should be priced this high.

10th April 2019


Not my favourite Kilchoman, but still a fine single malt. It maybe needs a little more time in the cask. Smooth, but punchy and some lovely smoky tones. Certainly not one to be missed.

2nd January 2019


Tastes like gasoline, needs a casket instead of a barrel

25th December 2018

Lagavulin brother ?

I totally approve with people comparing this whisky tout the laga 16yo. I think, at a blind test, i would have suggest it is a Lagavulin special batch. It is a bit lighter, with less defined fruity notes, but has that long smoky coastal Peat and a kind of a grandpa dusty garage taste... Surprising and high quality whisky, I like it a lot.

2nd December 2018

Warm, peaty, subtle fruitiness, peppery finish

I tasted the Machir Bay at the distillery on Islay. I had been to the Lagavulin (a personal favorite) distillery tour the day prior. Contrary to the note below, Kilchoman is on Islay. This is a delicious, peaty and fragrant whiskey. It is not as peaty as the Lagavulin 16 but is very flavorful nonetheless. I thought it had a subtle fruitiness, warm and slightly peppery finish, peaty boldness. Not too complex, but very well balanced. One to savor and enjoy. I purchased a bottle on the spot.

27th September 2018

Solid, less than brawny Islay.

Costco now has this delightful scotch for only $44. Darn good value.

14th July 2018

Chemical Taste

Maybe I’m missing something, but this tastes like I should be able to run my lawnmower with it. I smell peat and a strong chemical note.

25th March 2018

A "Must Try"

I agree with one of the reviews that compared it to Laga 16, ("Quieter, lighter, more refined). It has the peat, and the fruity undertones, and they are perfectly balanced, but more nuanced than the Kildalton distilleries. A wonderful surprise from a newer Islay distillery. Kilchoman is one to keep a very close eye on in the near future.

20th March 2018

Lagavulin 16’s quieter, lighter and more refined cousin

Lagavulin 16’s quieter, lighter and more refined cousin – if you love smoky peat softened with bourbon sweetness, but find Lagavulin 16 just a bit too hairy-a*sed and uncouth, you might give Machir Bay a try. I keep a range of favourite malts (including Lagavulin 16) in the fridge, so any one bottle may last several months – the passage of time adds some tropical fruit complexity to Machir’s sweetness.

19th February 2018

Peaty and tranquil

A real peat monster, loved it, even the room had the aromatics of the smoked peat. One dram to saver, one is enough .......

26th December 2017

Smooth for an Islay whisky

Interesting whisky. I quite enjoyed it. It is light and smooth for an Islay whisky.

18th December 2017

love it

Absolute superb

23rd November 2017

Machir Bay

I've had a 3cl sample of this over a year ago and soon I'll have my very first bottle, can't wait to take a sip!

21st November 2017

Expensive för its age

Good, but too expensive for its age. You get more flavor, peat and complexity with Ardbeg 10, Caol Ila 12 or even Talisker 10.

14th October 2017

Real Islay, clearly

Greetings from Tallinn, Estonia. Our little company of whiskey lovers approved this whiskey. Maybe because of young age it misses a bit of depth and length (comparing to Ardbeg 10) but it is a in top 5 for those who love smoke and peat of Islay whiskey. Good job well done!

13th October 2017

Good whisky

Pretty decent whisky at a pretty reasonable price.

5th October 2017

Liquid warmth and happiness

Rich, smoky, and just sweet enough.

21st August 2017

Excellent value!

All anyone could want from an Islay malt. Rich, smooth and peaty! Superb.

9th May 2017

Fantastic stuff

Great on all fronts, and a bargain for the money. A lot of warmth makes it past the peat, without obscuring the medicinal aspects of the palate. Nose is very akin to a well-made Smoky Bear cocktail. Nice satisfying mouthfeel and finish. Tropical notes abound, with vanilla, biscuit and pepper. Buy it, don't waste your time saving a few quid buying anything cheaper from Islay. Ardbeg and Kilchoman are where it's at.

21st April 2017

Better than Lagavulin

Almost as good as Ardbeg Uigeadail. Natural color, non-chill filtered, 46 and so smooth and oily. Amazing dram!

15th April 2017

Meditation in a bottle.

By far the favorite whiskey in my cabinet. Warm, peaty, and welcoming. A complex blend of sensations from fruit and vanilla to pepper, with a peaty theme to tie it together. It invites you to slow down and think.

4th April 2017

Best Islay Whisky

I need to be sincere, I'm a real Islay fan and I tasted many expressions of these whiskyes but Kilchoman is going very far from the other. People looks at marketing, names and so on. Khilchoman is the best Islay whisky, I hope it will remain the same farm distillery.

21st February 2017

Amazing, the real scotch whisky.

This whisky has something that big companies could not give to their whisky, and it is the real taste of something made by hands. You could recognize in its flavour this difference, this whisky is true, genuine, perfect. Thank you Kilchoman, go ahead like this!

20th February 2017

Nothing new or old, just nothing.

Nothing special. Better Lagavulin or Caol Ila.

17th February 2017

The best single

Does it all. Light, rollercoaster of various flavors that don't stop coming. Easy in, easy finish. I usually like speysides, but this by far is my go to favorite. New kid on the block is also the king

22nd December 2016

2016 Advent Calendar Notes

I visited Kilchoman in the summer of 2009 before they produced their first whisky. They sold samplers of 1 and 2 year old raw spirit which were Islay Rocket Fuel at their best. The Machir Bay lives up to this potent legacy with a nose like burnt cookies (I mean that as a compliment) with a saline hint--nothing on Islay is that far from the sea--with a boldly peaty palate that rivals the older Islay distilleries mixed with some fruitiness, ending with this smoky sweet finish, almost like a mild cigar in taste and a lingering smokiness. A wee bit of water softens the blow for those not acquainted with Islay whiskies or those who are willing to give them a try those does not diminish the experience. This dram brings me back to An Taigh Osda and makes me long for Islay. Perhaps Feis Ile in 2017.

8th December 2016

Incredible Islay

Smooth, peaty, and delicious. My favorite out of the calendar, so far. I loved it so much I bought a bottle!

5th December 2016

Advent Day 3

smokey with citrus, also a little bit buttery. the smoke worked well with the other flavors and didn't overpower... this is actually my favorite advent dram so far. Definitely would drink again.

4th December 2016

A good one :-)

It is for sure pleasant, well balanced between the smoke and the citrus. The vanilla bit is quite interesting and rather original. It reminds me strongly of "smokey Joe", the vanilla on top of it. It is quite a good value for your money but if you can put more there are some stuff around (Lagavulin Distillers Edition, Smokey Joe) with greater complexity.

4th December 2016

Thirsty Darter

Loved the fact that this delivered a peaty punch! Well rounded with a vanilla extract aroma. I had it in a dram with a tinny titch of water rounding it out.
I highly recommend!

4th December 2016

Very nice

High quality tasting whisky. Love the medicinal attributes, 100% win!

11th October 2016

Wally loves it

Fantasy in yellow peat 😍
Rich full pallete of fruit, barley and peat
Love it

4th October 2016

Like It

This is a very nice whisky from Islay's newest distillery. Probably behind Loch Gorm in overall, but has a strong peaty flavour and slight antisceptic odour when neat. Add a little water and it becomes magnificent and left me craving for more. I'm off to Islay in February where I will hopefully drown in the fine stuff.

13th July 2016

Just great!

Wow, buy one it´s just great!

15th May 2016

1 week later

After one week of oxidation the malt has developed with underflavorings of butterscotch, cream, and, yes, beautiful vanilla.
I cannot wait to hear from the age statements that this company will make in a couple of years. I fully plan on following these guys for every year and every bottling that I can get my hands on.
This stuff is gold, and will rival even the best islays one has ever had in a couple of years.

4th April 2016

New kid on the block

So this is the last of the Islay distilleries I haven't tried and I am a die hard Islay whisky fan so this is very exciting but also kind of bitter sweet because there aren't anymore to try but oh well I just need to try all of their bottling a I guess. Alright here we go ,right away love the smell peaty and oceanic the way whisky should be ,little fumey tho I'm assuming this is kind of young but it will probly get better in the next couple weeks. After sitting in the glass for a minute some vanilla and citrus notes appear time to taste, peaty but not ultra peaty like ardbeg or Laga but close enough to let you know it's an Islay , the peat fades to seaweed and limestone also slightly minty/herbal with a unique citrus flavor on the aftertaste almost reminds me of a slightly watered down coryvreckan. Giving it an 8 because it's a little young but for its age probly best whisky I have tried can't wait to try older offerings from Kilchoman in the future they are gonna be around a long time if they keep making stuff this good. The sugarbear

31st March 2016


What a great islay. Although from what I understand, kilchomin isn't technically on the Isle of islay. Nevertheless this is one that give other islays a run for their money. Kilchomin come out swinging with this expression

Nose- the vanilla bisquits and Sherri ed fruit ARe very pronounced from a distance. As I get closer the peat notes waft in and grab you by the horns. Feels as of I am sitting by a warm fire in a leather chintz chair, and enjoying Sherried fruits with a nice pipe tobacco wafting through the air. Pungent, but delicious.

Palate- the peat takes over pretty fast but subsides to a nice sherry flavor with hints of bourbon sweetness. Absolutely delicious. The taste if peat lingers and makes me want more.

24th March 2016

Rich smokiness

One of the best

3rd March 2016


Can't say enough about this single malt, definately gives the more established Islay malts a good run for there money! It's top of the list for me know!

29th February 2016


I'm a bourbon fan, but this this single malt could convert me. The smoke flavor from the char of the bourbon barrels is front and center. Like sitting by a fire on a fall evening.

30th December 2015

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