Review: Kilchoman 2008 Vintage

Category: Islay single malt scotch whisky

Origin: Kilchoman Distillery

Bottling: Kilchoman Distillery Company

ABV: 46%

Cost: £65.95 from Master of Malt

kilchoman-7-year-old-2008-whisky

What they say:

On Monday September the 7th 2015 at 10am we will release our first ever 7 year old whisky.  The Limited Edition 2008 Vintage is a vatting of fresh ex American bourbon barrels filled in July 2008 and bottled in August 2015.  This latest release is a continuation of our by-annually released Vintage range, having previously bottled 2006 and 2007 Vintages in 2011 and 2013.

Anthony Wills, Kilchoman Founder and Managing Director; ‘The 2008 Vintage is a classic bourbon barrel aged Kilchoman however the additional maturation has added layers of soft fruit and sweetness not seen in previous releases.  This latest vintage release makes me very excited about the future development of Kilchoman single malt.’

What I say:

The 2008 Vintage from Kilchoman, the first 7 year old whisky and therefore amongst the oldest I’ll have sampled from Kilchoman. Their spirit is designed to be drinkable at an early age and cask maturation practices have taken advantage of this. With the availability of older stock it will be interesting to see how Kilchoman fares as it approaches the traditional age-declaration maturation years of 8, 10 & 12. Peat influence notoriously subsides with ageing so Kilchoman really need to get their maturation right…

Colour:

Light straw gold (3/30), medium-thick tears slowly run into legs

Nose:

Peat smoke from the off, crystal icing sugar & menthol, sweet oil-seed rape honey, gristy and biscuit cereal barley malt, vanilla and coconut, eucalyptus, a little germolene & tar, citrus lemon & lime, caramel.

Taste:

Thick & oily/buttery, a lot less smoky than the nose suggests, still crystal menthol appears and the peat influcnec morphs into a more earthen, bbq charcoal dust, green oak wood, creamy vanilla and coconut, soapy, wood smoke, burning leaves, mossy, green, kiwi & lime, liquorice allsorts & white pepper spice.

Finish:

Long, heather honey, creamy & sweet, soft & gentle peat smoked liquorice.

Overall:

A powerful nose but much more subdued on the palate, which is creamier and honeyed. Perhaps signs of a move away from their traditional peaty monsters as the vigour of youth subsides from their spirit and more malt and cask influence become apparent. I just hope Kilchoman’s hard-core fans stay with them on this journey as this is still mighty fine whisky.

Score: 84/100

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