Kilchoman 12, 2006 (for the Islay Cask Company)


The final whisky of Kilchoman Week is the oldest. And with a young distillery it’s not surprise that it’s the oldest vintage as well. This was distilled in 2006—one year before Monday’s 3 yo—and bottled in 2019 from a single sherry cask. This was a private bottling for some entity called Islay Cask Company. Who they are, I have no idea. This does have a very high rating on Whiskybase which is promising because, Wednesday’s 7 yo notwithstanding, I’ve generally not been very persuaded by sherry cask Kilchoman. Let’s hope this keeps the positive streak going.

Kilchoman 12, 2006 (56.1%; sherry cask 324/2006 for the Islay Cask Company; from a bottle split)

Nose:  Dry, ashy smoke mixed in with a leafy note. Some sweeter notes (orange peel) begin to come through as it sits but the smoke remains dry on the whole. Stays consistent with time which is another way of saying there isn’t much development. A few drops of water make it a bit richer: tobacco rather than ashy/leafy smoke now.

Palate: Comes in as predicted by the nose at first but the sherry is more pronounced here. A bit hot at full strength and the texture is a bit too thin. The sherry begins to separate as I swallow. More of the separation on the second sip—this feels more like a brief finish than a full-term maturation. Some pencil lead shows up as it sits and some richer citrus. Water fixes the texture a bit but the smoke is still thin and sharp.

Finish: Long. Dry, ashy smoke here as well; more salt. The sherry separation doesn’t continue but it doesn’t quite come back together either. Gets thinner as it goes, in terms of both texture and flavour. As on the palate with water.

Comments: I’m at a loss to understand the 90 point rating this has on Whiskybase (or did before I put in my score). Could it be that the people who gave it 90+ points have bottles to sell? Anyway, this is fine but it takes a while to show its best self and the peat and sherry never quite come together fully; and it’s a bit anonymous on the whole. I much preferred the younger siblings.

Rating: 83 points.

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