Kilchoman – 100% Islay

IMG_0542We might have said this before, but whisky is one of those amazing things in life that can be both hated and loved by different people all at the same time. Here at The Real Dram we are big fans of Kilchoman. For a young distillery, we feel that they produce some of the most interesting whisky and at a price that normal people can afford. With them being a small distillery, who do their best to source ingredients locally, they can only produce small amounts of whisky each year. This means that you have to be quick when you see a new one, or you might miss out.

However, today’s reviewed dram is part of the core range and along with the Machir Bay and Loch Gorm is produced yearly with different dated batches being fairly widely available. We bought it as a sample from Master of Malt, which by the way is a fantastic way to try lots of new whiskies without breaking the bank.

Kilchoman (Pronounced Kil-Ho-Man) is an Islay distillery and it is often referred to as “The Farm Distillery”, as they try to produce all of what they need for the whisky on site. It was the first new distillery to be built on Islay for 125 years and has been in operation since 2005. 100% Islay is as it sounds their best attempt to create a whisky, from start to finish all on Islay. It is a more subtly peated whisky and it therefore lighter in nature than their other drams.

Cost: £60-70

Appearance: Light crystal water, shimmering against golden sands.

Aroma: Lemon and apple sherbert, mingle with vanilla and oak.

Taste: Silky, smooth and citrusy. This part of the whisky is dominated by fruity notes, there are apples, pears and citrus all mingled together. There is a sweetness, but not of honey or sugar, this is a sweetness that comes from fruit. As this part of the flavour develops it captures you and carries you off to a pick your own farm on a sunny day.

As the starting flavours melt away, the peat smoke slowly and gradually rears its head and develops in the mouth. It isn’t intrusive or over powering, it instead sneaks quietly on to the tongue. With it there is spice of white pepper, there is heat of aniseed and there is darkness of wood, which mingles with the smoke. This part is charcoal dark, but always tempered by the lighter fruity notes from earlier.

Finally, the heat descends, leaving the mouth covered a charcoal based sweetness. This I imagine is similar to the flavour of success left behind on the lips of a dragon after it has incinerated an old adversary. It is a flavour that hangs around and celebrates its presence.

Mouthfeel: Smoked, but lightly. Sweet, but acidic. Soft, but Fruity.

Overall: Another strong offering from Kilchoman. This whisky tastes of its provenance and delights in its locality, whilst being an Islay whisky that fans of more mellower drams would still really enjoy. If you have never tried a Kilchoman, or are put off by some of the angrier drams from Islay, this is for you!

Real Dram Factor: 8.0

More Information: Kilchoman Website

Source: Purchased from Master of Malt

Buy Online: Master of Malt

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