Kilchoman – April 2021

Kilchoman Distillery – Tasting Evening, April 2021

The April tasting evening was the second virtual event hosted by Kilchoman that we have attended this year. Kilchoman is very quickly becoming one of our favourite distilleries, so of course we jumped at the chance to sample some more of their limited releases.

Following a similar structure to the previous event we first focused on their core range, and then moved on to their more exclusive expressions. For tasting notes on their core range – Machir Bay and Sanaig – please see our previous review.

The Limited Editions

PX Sherry Cask Matured 47.3%

Due to be released in early May this dram was a sneak preview. It is made up of a vatting of 33 casks – nine fully matured in Pedro Ximénez sherry casks for roughly five years and 24 started in ex-bourbon casks before being finished in PX casks for between 12 and 18 months. As with other expressions from this distillery, George and James explained that the team wanted it to maintain its distinctly Kilchoman flavours, and marry them with the PX influence.

Nose: unmistakeable Kilchoman, peaty smoke, sea salt, sweeter notes come through, red fruits, hints of vanilla
Palate: lovely sweetness to start, prunes, vanilla – a clear sherry influence, leather, tobacco, maritime sea air, brown sugar at the back of the tongue
Finish: very warming, peat comes through at the end and gets the tip of your tongue, fresh mouth feel – not too rich

This was a very drinkable dram, and therefore one that we think might be quite dangerous given its 47.3% ABV. The release is going to be roughly 12,000 bottles – so we’re keen to see if we can get our hands on one (or maybe two)!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Ruby Port Single Cask Finish – 55.1%

Originally destined to be a distillery shop exclusive, this Ruby Port single cask is available only through the Kilchoman online shop. This single cask has been matured in a fresh Bourbon Barrel for over six years before being finished in a Ruby Port quarter cask for roughly 12 months. Bottled at cask strength, there should be a strong Ruby Port influence due to the quarter cask holding only 100 litres of spirit.

Nose: less immediately smoky, red wine, maritime sea salt air, brine, summer red fruits, there is a sweeter note here
Palate: sweeter than I was expecting from the nose, cooked red fruits, brine, vanilla, butterscotch, caramel
Finish: coats the mouth lightly and nicely, has a sweet and smokey finish, less peat than other Kilchoman whiskies we have tried

So full disclosure, I already had a bottle of the Ruby Port on order before trying it – what can I say, I’m a sucker for a port finish! After the tasting I can say I’m glad I bought it blind. The port influence really shines through, and compliments the natural maritime, citrus, peat flavours of Kilchoman exceptionally well.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Once again we had a fabulous evening tasting these drams, and learning more about what happens at Kilchoman behind the scenes. It’s always lovely to see the strong family connections and relationships really pushing this distillery forward. We’re excited for what is coming later in the year, and have our eyes peeled for updates regarding the Isley Festival. Let us know in the comments below if you’ve tried any of the Kilchoman limited releases, and what your tasting notes are?

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