Coming of age at Kilchoman with a 100% Islay whisky.
Some of you may rightly argue that Kilchoman had already came to age two years ago.
However, the aspirations of Distillery Founder and Director Anthony Wills were only fully realised last week with the release of the first of Kilchoman 100% Islay whisky, which opens the question is this the true Kilchoman single malt whisky?
Before the small farm distillery opened in 2005 Anthony had a simple dream to make a whisky that was 100% made on Islay. A single malt produced from barley, grown, malted, distilled, matured and bottled at the distillery.
Prior to 2005 it took four years of chasing investment and hard work to get things going. Followed by the move to an Island of only 3000 people it was a journey he shared with his family, so much so that on graduating University Peter Wills (Anthonys son) will become Kilchomans' first official brand ambassador, and newest member of the team from September 2011.
Inaugural Tasting notes:
Retails at 69.00 and 11,300 bottles have been released.
Using lightly peated (10 to 20ppm of phenols) malt they matured the spirit for three years in first fill bourbon barrels from Buffalo Trace Distillery, Kentucky, USA. Drawn from a selection of casks which were bottled at 50%ABV. Charlie Maclean gathered thoughts from the press and fans at the distillery on the day:
My Tasting Notes
Nose: The front has salt cured lemons served with shrimp and coconut husk in a cigar shop. Leads into rhubarb and custard hard boiled sweets, fennel, coriander, mild lemon balm and mellow menthol. The back is cherry lips and raspberry masking the final whiff of vanilla. Water intensifies all, especially the vanilla and cigar shop (could be taken as farmyard)
Palate: An initial sweetness is followed by soft peat smoke and then the mixed fruits, ends on waves of butterscotch and smouldering ashtrays.
Finish: Long and clean with a simple and delightful sweet aftertaste.
There is also a special edition, available only at the distillery, of 1060 bottles at cask strength 61.3% ABV. Presented in a hand crafted American white oak presentation box, this edition at 149.00 is available only from the distillery. Taken from the same batch of casks as the 50% ABV bottling these cask were extremely consistant and offers the same as the inaugural but with greater intensity.
Well I'm looking forward to a promised 5 year old standard expression later in the year.