This is one of K&L’s exclusive bottlings of Kilchoman and therefore THE GREATEST WHISKY FROM THE GREATEST DISTILLERY EVER! Well, I don’t know what Driscoll actually said about it as I don’t really read him regularly anymore—you can let me know if I’m very far off the mark.
Michael K., the depraved bastard who writes Diving for Pearls, proposed a bottle split of this some time ago. I’d completely forgotten about it till I got to Los Angeles and then he accused me of trying to renege on the deal and it got kind of ugly. Anyway, as recompense I had to agree to simul-review this, and I believe Jordan of Chemistry of the Cocktail is also doing one. So, after reading this you should go to their blogs and see exactly how they got it wrong. I’ll provide the links once I have them. As always, we won’t see each others’ reviews till they go up.
It’s been a while since I last tasted (or reviewed a Kilchoman). I have a large number of samples sitting on my shelves from swaps and previously deceased bottles and it’s time to bring their number down a bit.
Kilchoman, as you probably know, is the youngest distillery on Islay. They’re a very small distillery, with very limited output (compared to the big boys on the island) but their reputation is quite high. They may not be set up to produce much but what they put out is invariably good. For their regular releases they use barley peated at the Port Ellen maltings on Islay to about 50 ppm (which is at Ardbeg levels) but for these 100% Islay releases (of which this is the 3rd edition) they use only barley malted on site to 20-25 ppm (see Jordan D.’s post from late-2013 confirming this). This means this will be quite unlike the other Kilchomans I’ve tried and so I’m quite looking forward to it. Continue reading →