Review: Kilchoman 4 Years Old 2011 Madeira Cask Matured

Category: Islay single malt scotch whisky

Distillery: Kilchoman

Bottling: Official

ABV: 50%

Cost: £82.95 from Royal Mile Whiskies

Kilchoman Madeira Cask Matured 2011

What they say:

This expression is our first ever Madeira Cask Matured release! We have selected just 17 first fill ex-Madeira barrels that were filled in 2011 and bottled these at 50%abv.

The Madeira Cask Matured follows the release of the Port Cask Matured in 2014 and is an example of our belief in full maturation in cask types typically only employed by distilleries for finishing.

Anthony Wills, Kilchoman Founder “This release is a break from the norm for us, it represents a bit of an experiment with full maturation rather than simply finishing whisky in casks like Madeira.  Full maturation means that the impact of the cask is that much greater, the challenge is to ensure the whisky remains balanced and the influence of the Madeira cask is integrated with that of the Kilchoman spirit.”

Kilchoman Madeira Cask 2011 Whiskyphiles

What I say:

Following the preview last year of 600 bottles of Kilchoman Club 3rd Release Madeira Cask, a further 17 casks were married after a 4 year (plus) maturation to generate a batch of 6,100 bottles of the Kilchoman Madeira Cask Matured 2011 edition.

Colour:

Umbrous russet copper (11/20), slow medium-large droplets leave barely perceptible legs

Nose:

Initial thick Kilchoman peat smoke, slightly sweet and nutty, then a good deal of damp suede leather, fruity peaches with banana, pear and pineapple, zesty orange marmalade spread on dusty old books, a touch of the lactic youthfulness from Kilchoman before back into deep peat embers, sweet and savoury with touches of spice.

Taste:

Medium-full bodied and a little chewy, perhaps a tad thinner than the club release, rich malty cereal barley and white pepper, kinda peppery like haggis, moreish and mouthfilling, savoury, suede leather and tannic oak wood, treacle and molasses, like an overlarge bite of chocolate fudge cake, drying walnut and a ginger spiciness

Finish:

Long, tannic and drying, fluffy with zingy citrus and strong fresh earthen peat, burnt sugars and charred bbq meats

Overall:

Quite savoury without being too meaty. There is a depth of tannic wood and rich nutty flavours that almost balance the renowned Kilchoman peat. Gently spicy and incredibly drying in places but in a pleasing way. I actually favour this over the club release as it feels slightly better balanced whilst retaining complexity.

A big thanks to Mark and Sam at Royal Mile Whiskies for making sure I got hold of a bottle, Slainte!

Score: 85/100

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