Kilchoman 8 Years Old 2011 Single Cask 490

Kilchoman 8 Years Old 2011 ‘Unpeated’ Cask 490 RMW Exclusive RMW Exclusive (56.4%, OB, 246 Bottles, 2020)

  • ABV: 56.4%
  • Age: 8 Years Old
  • Bottling: OB, RMW Exclusive, 1st fill Bourbon Cask #490, ‘Unpeated’
  • Category: Islay single malt scotch whisky
  • Cost: £94.95
  • Origin: Kilchoman distillery
  • Vintage: 2011


What they say

We discovered this delightful and unusual single cask during an online tasting with distillery founder Anthony Wills. It comes from a distillation of a batch of locally grown barley which was unpeated. However, the whisky itself is still a bit smoky, as the run was distilled with the foreshots and feints from the previous, fully peated run (this is common in whisky production). So, let’s just use the air quotes and called it “unpeated”. This single first fill ex-bourbon cask produced only 246 bottles, all at cask strength.

What I say

Let’s just call this the final dram from Edinburgh University Water of Life Society tasting 102 ‘Types of whisky’.  There was a mlty richness in here and quite a distinct peat smoke nature that this could be nothing other than single malt scotch whisky. My initial thoughts were Caol Ila or perhaps Laphroaig – I guessed Laphroaig Select – again an unfamiliar whisky to me but from the notes fit this profile.

My tasting notes:

  • Appearance: Soave (4/20), large tears and finer legs.
  • Nose: Shellfish, peat smoke, kippers, ozone, lemon citrus, marzipan and menthol cigarettes.
  • Taste: Malty barley, creamy, lemon zest and lemon butter on seared scallop meat, beach bbq/bonfire, lemongrass and mint leaf, coal-tar soap and earthy peat smoke.
  • Finish: Long, sweet, smoky, salty and malty.


Ha! Cheeky Kilchoman putting unpeated distillate together with peated feints and forshots from the previous distillation run. Matured in a first fill ex-bourbon barrel (or hogshead based on the number of Cask strength bottles) there is not much here to mask mostly spirit nature. It has been sometime since I regularly sampled Kilchoman and this was a very welcome return and my favourite of the tasting.

Score 83/100

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