Kilchoman Machir Bay 2013 (Official Bottling)
46% ABV, £39.60 for 70 cl or £7 for 5cl available from Kilchoman online shop here
What they say:
Machir Bay 2013 is a vatting of 4 and 5 year old ex-bourbon casks, with the 4 year casks being finished in Oloroso sherry butts for 4 weeks prior to bottling. 46% ABV.
The Machir Bay range is Kilchoman’s core expression, first launched in 2012 when it won the prestigious IWSC 2012 Gold Medal – Best in Class. Bottled once a year, each release contains more mature whisky each year allowing Kilchoman fans to follow the development of the unique Kilchoman malt as it matures.
John MacLellan, Kilchoman Distillery Manager: “The 2013 Machir Bay displays further evolution of the 2012 release, showing more maturation flavours from the excellent cask regime and is softer and more rounded with lovely creamy mouth- filling flavours. Anthony Wills, Kilchoman Managing Director: “Sales of Machir Bay 2012 far exceeded our expectations so we hope people will be equally impressed with this year’s more mature offering”
What I say:
I have tried both the 2012 and 2013 Machir Bay on several occasions but never quite had the time or opportunity to make proper tasting notes. I was looking for an excuse to purchase even the 5cl miniature of this from Kilchoman when their latest club release gave me the perfect excuse to do so. For a young and short maturation whisky this is actually very very good! Very different from the expressions by other Islay distilleries, Kilchoman peat is very sweet and minimally smokey. I look forward to next years expression!
Peat, woody smoke and sweet honey, a little medicinal like germolene and sticking plasters
Light and watery at first there is a delicate or subtle peaty flavour that is earthen and reminiscent of open wood fires or a beach barbecue, a little meaty with fragrant herbal and botanical elements such as aniseed and fennel coupled with a very sweet oil-seed rape honey
Medium length sweet, nutty and smooth with a lingering sweet peaty element
Would I buy it again:
Absolutely, for all the peat that Kilchoman pack into the 2013 Machir Bay expression there is not the least element of harshness or roughness to this. While undoubtably the spirit is still young and feisty, it gives a zesty almost citrus-like nature to the final whisky. My only criticism of this whisky is that eventually I found it lacking depth and unable to fully support the hugely strong and punchy flavours it combines. I am completely confident that within the next few years a little more ageing will skyrocket this whisky up the ratings and further depth and complexity will bolster up these flavours with deeper honey flavours and syrupy textures. This young whisky is already punching way above it’s weight and is definitely one to watch out for future expressions, but equally one to buy, drink and enjoy now!