Tasting Notes: Kilchoman Range

In October, Kilchoman held a 10-Year Anniversary celebration. Offering nearly the entire range of expressions, it was a lot to take in. Luckily, Thomas Fauchez takes great notes. 

Kilchoman new spirit 70% ABV:
Nose: Strong ash, peat and citrus fruits
Palate: Deeply fruity and sweety but less peated than the nose
Final: Very long, obviously regarding to the alcohol level and the peat
Conclusions: Very nice, we don’t feel the alcohol so much. Could be a nice digestive

ANNUAL RELEASES

Kilchoman Machir Bay 2011 46 abv
Color: Light yellow
Nose: A lot of alcohol, algae, citrus, herbs and hay
Palate: Start sweet, then vanilla, toffee, smoke ash, coal and BBQ.
Final: Long and peated, a bit of sweetness at the end
Conclusions: The spirit of Kilchoman!

Kilchoman Loch Gorm 2007 46 abv
Color: Dark amber
Nose: Light, sherry, a bit of malt barley and smoke
Palate: Start sweet on the sherry, wine note then follow the peat
Final: Pretty long, good equilibrium Sherry VS peat
Conclusions: A machir bay for the sherry finished lovers

Kilchoman Loch Gorm 2020 46 abv
Color: Medium amber
Nose: Leather and sherry, malt, smoke and peat
Palate: More alcohol and peat in the palate than the 2007
Final: Pretty long, good equilibrium Sherry VS peat
Conclusions: A little bit stronger than the 2007

Kilchoman 100% Islay 5rd edition
Color: Light Yellow
Nose: Medicine herbs, citrus, citrus fruits
Palate: Weak beginning then some notes of sugar, candies and marshmallow
Final: A lot of alcohol in the final, with a bit of sweetness and smoke
Conclusions: Disappointed, this dram is weak, without personality..

VINTAGES

Kilchoman Spring 2011 Release 46 abv
Color: Light yellow
Nose: Sherry, wine and dark fruits, a bit of smoke and peat
Palate: Leather and copper notes as well as red/dark fruits and a weak peat
Final: Long final on the peat and smoke. Surprisingly long for this small alcohol level
Conclusions: Interesting for the final, only..

Kilchoman 2007 Vintage 46 abv
Color: Very light yellow
Nose: Discrete but sweet, strawberry candies, malty notes at the aeration
Palate: Begin very sweet, like a candy and then roasted cereals and peat
Final: Some smoke and peat
Conclusions: A light dram, good for aperitif but not strong enough to be a digestive

Kilchoman Inaugural release 46 abv
Color: Light yellow
Nose: Very nice, good balance between yellow fruits, cereals and peat
Palate: Sweet and peat together but not really complex
Final: Short on the peat
Conclusions: Nothing exceptional but pleasant to drink at the aperitif

Kilchoman Islay Pipe Band 2015 release PX finish 58.8 abv
Color: Dark yellow
Nose: Herbs and peat, we detect the sherry but weakly
Palate: Begin with dark fruits, wine and sherry and continue with roasted cereals and peat
Final: Extremely long on the smoke and alcohol
Conclusions: Very good, a lot of power and character

SINGLE CASKS

Kilchoman CV Sherry Cask 61 abv
Color: orange
Nose: Strong sherry, wine and some peat
Plate: Good equilibrium between peat and sherry
Final: Like the palate but the peat and smoke take the advantage
Conclusions: A great Kilchoman for those who love the sherry

Kilchoman CV Bourbon Cask 60.4 abv
Color: Very light yellow
Nose: Medicine herbs, vanilla and peat
Palate: Medicine herbs begin then spices, peppers and caramel
Finale: Very long on the alcohol peat and algae.
Conclusions: Surprising and interesting but the taste is not easy to appreciate due to the spices and peppers.

Kilchoman K&L D. 2008, 60.8 abv
Color: Almost transparent with some yellow touches
Nose: Very weak, cereals, vanilla and yellow fruits
Palate: Like a speyside (vanilla, caramel, cereals) with a small note of peat
Final: Long with cereals and yellow fruits (peach, cherry plum, etc.)
Conclusions: Hard to say that is a Kilchoman… Disappointed for a single cask

SPECIAL EDITIONS:

Kilchoman Feis Ile 2015 58.2 abv
Color: very light yellow
Nose: Strawberry candy, a bit of mint and smoke
Palate: Alcohol start then the fruity touch of the strawberry and a few of peat
Final: Short
Conclusions: Very uninteresting, that’s a shame for this price and for a Feis ile edition

Kilchoman 10th Anniversary 58.2 abv
Color: Yellow
Nose: Fresh, mint sherry and a bit of peat
Palate: Leather, peat, sherry, wine dark fruits and red fruits, roasted cereals. Very complex
Final: Long and smooky
Conclusions: A great complexity for young Scotch, the best of all the testing session.

First cask of Kilchoman. Scottish malt society bottle. 5 years old. Distilled the 2008 June 2006. 60.2 abv
Color: Light yellow
Nose: Mint, citrus fruits, and smoke
Palate: Delicate, sweet and fresh due to the mint and citrus fruits. Good balance.
Final: Long on the alcohol and smoke but well controlled, delicate.
Conclusions: A historic dram, the first cask ever made at Kilchoman, sold at only 235 bottles in the world.

Article by Thomas Fauchez

I am Thomas Fauchez, a french PhD physicist working at NASA GSFC. I am a non-professional Scotch whisky fan since 2010. I am member of the “Clan des grands malt”, the second biggest whisky club in France with several hundreds people. I visited about 30 distilleries in Scotland, participated to the Islay feis ile and lived 5 months in Edinburgh. My favorite distilleries are Ardbeg, Bruichladdich, Springbank and Benriach. I drink my Scotch without ice (of course) in a inward-curved glass to enjoy all the nose and taste.