Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Whisky Review: Kilchoman 100% Islay 6th Edition

The 6th Edition of Kilchoman's 100% Islay series continued the upward trend in age, much like Kilkerran's WIP releases. From what I can gather it was also a true vintage release, with all of the spirit distilled in the same year, whereas the 5th and subsequent releases have been mixes of vintages as the distillery had a wider variety of stock to draw from.

This whisky was distilled from 20 PPM floor malt in 2010, aged in fresh and refill ex-bourbon casks, then bottled in 2016 at 50% ABV without coloring or chill filtration.

I purchased this sample from Dramtime, which still has the full bottle.

Kilchoman 100% Islay 6th Edition

Nose: fresh malt, new make, vegetal peat (closer in character to PE malt), plastic, mint, black pepper, wood-y baking spices. After adding a few drops of water the peat comes into focus and some floral notes come out but it becomes more youthful and a lot less complex.

Taste: malt sweetness up front, herbal and vaguely fruity around the middle, the vegetal peat with strong floral notes bursting out at the back alongside some stone fruit in the background. After dilution the flavors are generally amplified, the peat spreads out, a savory note emerges, and whatever heat there was disappears.

Finish: floral malt, fresh vegetal peat, earthy

Compared to the 5th Edition this feels both simpler and less mature. While it's reasonably competent and I got some good floral flavors, that was pretty much the only thing that caught my attention. The aromas definitely got better with time and the flavors improved with water, but they didn't have the kind of balance I was looking for. So while I wouldn't refuse a bottle of this, I also don't feel any need to seek out more.

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