Review: Kilchoman Loch Gorm 2015

Category: Islay single malt scotch whisky

Origin: Kilchoman Distillery

Bottling: Kilchoman Distillery Company

ABV: 46%

Cost: £63.95 from Master of Malt

KilchomanLochGorm 2015

What they say:

Our first release of the year is the latest edition of Loch Gorm.

Loch Gorm 2015 has been bottled and only a limited amount of this release is available. This is the third annual Loch Gorm to be released and each release is differentiated by the distillation and bottling dates on the front of the bottle and gift carton.

The Loch Gorm releases are traditionally matured in ex Oloroso sherry butts and this latest edition is no exception. Where the 2015 version differs from the previous year is the use of sherry hogsheads to mature a portion of the whisky rather than just sherry butts.  This edition will also be marginally older than the five year old 2014 version, it being bottled from casks filled in both 2009 and 2010.

Kilchoman founder Anthony Wills said: “As well as this year’s release being slightly older, we decided to increase the ratio of single malt matured in smaller sherry hogsheads versus that matured in larger sherry butts. This increases the influence from the sherry casks and gives the whisky a striking intensity and richness. That said, the whisky retains the balance and complexity Kilchoman releases are well-known for.”

What I say:

The 3rd Edition of Kilchoman’s Loch Gorm – Sherry-matured whisky. This year they have included the smaller Sherry-conditioned Hogsheads as well as Butts to add a little complexity to the maturation, the result…

Colour:

Copper amber (12/20), thick & loose legs

Nose:

Spicy ginger and cinnamon, leathery, dates, figs, old polished wood, nutty, chestnut, walnut, toffee, xylene/solventy, fibreglass solvents and marker pens.

Taste:

Toffee and butterscotch, slightly spicy, pepper, mace, ginger, mellows back to butterscotch with tar, charcoal, iodine, sun-drying seaweed and heavy fruit cake – slightly over-baked.

Finish:

Long, tarry smoked toffee, charcoal

Overall:

I found this Kilchoman Loch Gorm 2015 expression a little off-target, generally a little off with much to much solventy influence and rather light throughout. For me the hogsheads have detracted from this or they have started using refill sherry casks – I’m just not sure about this one and perhaps it is Kilchoman’s first misfire?

Score: 81/100

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