Kilchoman 13 Years Old Bottled for Max & Julia Cask 69 55.5% 2007
|Serie||Private Cask Release|
|Bottled for||Max & Julia|
|Cask Type||Fresh Bourbon Barrel|
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Cask is selected by an undisclosed and well-known whisky collector and aficionado.
Serge Valentin (90)
Angus MacRaild for whiskyfun:
I was planning to wait until a sparring Kilchoman arrived, but, in all honesty, I can't be bothered. I'm just too curious to try a properly mature, teenage Kilchoman. Plus, I'm sure we could make some tenuous argument about doing this in a session with Port Ellen and it being the new alongside the old. Quite frankly though, I'm sure we don't need such excuses. Colour: bright straw. Nose: a dusty smokiness at first, bailed straw, hay, sunflower seeds, smoked olive oil and this rather firm and punchy note of pumpkinseed oil. Indeed, the overall impression is one of rather an oily and full bodied dram. Although, the peat itself isn't super intense. More of these dusty phenolics, and things like natural tar, creosote and roof pitch. With water: becomes softer and more fragrant with kelp, sandalwood, preserved lemon, bergamot and other hints of smoked tea and dried herbs. Mouth: big, sharp, chiselled, crystalline and pure peat. Rather ashy, tarry, salty with notes of iodine, wet wool, lemon juice and pickling brine. Feels more coastal that some other Kilchomans and in that sense more traditionally modern Islay in overall profile. Superbly clean, zippy fresh, peaty and coastal. With water: beach sand, seawater, ink, mixed dried herbs, lemon rind, smoked sea salt and dried seaweed. Finish: long, sandy, very salty, fresh sea air, citric, briny and with a crisp, slightly meaty peat smoke. Comments: I tend to find Kilchomans a notch more farmyard in style, however this one was pure coastal Islay. Not that I will complain about that, it's pretty flawless stuff and shows really well at this age.
Gal Granov (90)
This bottle comes from a privately owned cask by Mark & Julia from NL who wish to remain anonymous. They have purchased this way back in 2007 and bottled it last year (2020), one of the oldest Kilchomans I’ve tried and certainly something highly interesting to see how their whisky changes after a long(er) period of maturation and in a classic Ex-Bourbon cask, no finishes, no shticks.
Nose: lovely smoke with a nice sweetness to it as well, mostly in the form of sweet pastries and sweet dough, with a bit of saline-y notes followed by a dirty note of used engine oil, thyme, and black pepper with a distant ashy/ chalky note. quite gentle. With a few drops of water, the ashy notes are much stronger.
Palate: A fierce entry on the same Black pepper we’ve noticed on the nose, throw in a few chilly notes, and warm wood notes, along with wood spices and smoke. It’s less sooty and ashy than the nose suggested, but still, there’s a nice earthy/sooty touch to it, along with barley sugars. not medicinal though.
Finish : Quite dry with a lot of peat smoke, soot and earth along toasted oak.
Conclusion: This is a brilliant example of how good old Kilchomans can be. It’s lovely, complex, and really aging nicely. A lovely combination of smoke, wood, sweet, earthy and dirty notes all working well together.
I got a wee sample of this from the guy who owned the cask, and he asked me to review it. Of course I didn’t do that right away, since that’s not really how I operate. Shameful, but true…
A 13 year old Kilchoman, of which there are only three so far, if I’m not mistaken. This one is from a fresh bourbon barrel distilled in 2007, and bottled for Max & Julia. That doesn’t tell most people much, those names, and that’s okay.
Let’s just dive right in, since there’s good stuff ahead!
Kilchoman is maturing very nicely. This one shows signs of smoke and oak, with barley and some bakery sweetness playing second fiddle. It has an oily scents on the nose. Sun seed oil, grassy peat and a bit of engine grease.
There’s quite a lot of black pepper and sawdust on the palate. The scorched flavor of when wood is sawed too hot. Toasted oak I guess. So, smoke, oak, barley. Some heather, earthiness.
The finish goes directly back to the sun seed oil with quite a lot of peat smoke. Heather and oak. Quite a long finish, with mostly drier and drier peat remaining.
Somehow this reminds me of how I liked Caol Ila when I just started drinking whisky. It’s not that it tastes similar, but it does make me enthusiastic in the same way.
This is a very complex whisky that breaks the mould for what I find typical of Kilchoman. Generally it’s a bit more fruity and lighter than this one. But, having said that, this does go in the direction of older Caol Ila a little bit with the notes of engine grease. I absolutely love it.