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Kilchoman Autumn 2009 Release

7 January 2010 2,011 views Written by: Gal Granov

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I’ve written about Kilchoman in my Hebrew blog before, but until this moment have been unable to taste their nectar. The first batch of their 3-year-old whisky (the first malt which was legally a “whisky”) got snatched so fast from stores. one blink of the eye, and all were gone. Luckily i was able to secure a bottle of their “Autumn” release, which was released only a few weeks ago, and two days ago it arrived. As it seems it came just in time, to compensate for the loss of my Laphraoig triple wood to the Israeli customs ( i’ve written a whole post on it, but to make a long  story short: Customs wanted me to pay an extra 300$ tax for this 80$ bottle, so i had to return it to Islay. sadly)

I guess most know the Kilchoman story by heart, but for those of you who are not familiar with the distillery, a few lines of background:

Kilchoman is the youngest distillery on Islay, opened in 2005 as a farm distillery, the first one to open on Islay after 124 years. Kilchoman uses Barley which is grown on site on Islay, uses its own malting etc… all the whisky making process is done at the distillery from start to end. This model of a distillery that is responsible for the entire process from barley to maturing to bottling is based on the olden times when each distillery operated on its own. quite nice.

The first malt was bottled in 2005, and since the distillery released a few versions of it’s “new make spirit” , at ages of 1-year-old and 2 years old , until releasing its inaugural release earlier this year. Like i wrote before, this release was gone in hours, i guess it is very collectible, also people were very keen on tasting this new Islay kid ;)

The second released (Autumn release, if you like) is made of malt that was matured 3 years in first fill and refill Bourbon casks (from Buffalo Trace distillery in the USA) then finished in Oloroso sherry butts (from Spain) . They were then vatted with  3-year-old refill Bourbon casks of Kilchoman single malt (of course!). an interesting combination. all in all 10,000 Bottles were released, which will disappear quite fast i am sure. (clients are limited to 1 bottle)

now that’s enough with the talk, let’s get down to some drammin!

Kilchoman Autumn 2009 Release 46% Abv

Kilch_automn

Color: Dark straw

Nose: Ah, the sweetness is felt immediately. sweet peat. And the peat is there, mind you. lovely strong peat. Some Sea water notes of course. a hint of fruit. and spice (nutmeg , pepper, Cinnamon)

Palate: Full bodied. Oily and peaty. Smoke, cured Bacon . Sherry notes, followed by  spiciness. this malt is not Ultra complex, but it delivers!

finish: Long finish, we like it! Smoke lingers in your mouth. Ace.

Summary

I was pleasantly surprised by this very young malt. Though i was expecting a good dram, from reading some R1 reviews, and a few R2 reviews, i did not expect it to be that good. I’ve tasted a few young whiskies before, and they were not as tamed as this one, and not half as drinkable…

Ok, it’s not Ultra complex, but hey , for a baby this is quite astonishing. Most of you probably know i am very fond of Peat monsters and young peat is at its best, this is a fine example. Taking into consideration this is a 3 Year old , i cant event imagine how good it will turn out to be in 3,4,5 more years. Great job, Kilchoman!

I am about to receive a wee sample of the Inaugural release (R1) . It will be very interesting to compare between the two youngsters.

You can find further tasting notes by WHISKYhost on their blog, and by Master Of Malt.

Slainte!

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  • http://www.hmemcpy.com/blog/ Igal Tabachnik

    Very nice review! When I visited Kilchoman distillery back in October, I had a wee taste of the New Make spirit (2 yo) and I picked up a miniature of the Inaugural 3yo release, half of which is headed your way :)

    While I agree with your notes, I really felt like it’s still not there yet, it was missing something, some depth I guess. Let’s just wait and see how it goes…

    http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/FNG0P6xi8dPbjcX8Oht-zw?authkey=Gv1sRgCIz7q7DR1reQUQ&feat=directlink

    • http://www.whiskyisrael.co.il Gal(WhiskyIsrael)

      10x Igal.
      very nice pic btw. can i use it in the post?
      as i said, it’s still young, and not complex, but the future holds great promises for this malt.

      i hope by the time i get to visit Islay, it will be much better .

      Gal.

      • http://www.hmemcpy.com/blog/ Igal Tabachnik

        Sure you can, I have some more, pick any you’d like…

  • Anonymous

    Sounds like this baby is a bit mature for it’s age; I like that. With winter here in the states, I’ve been sipping the peaties almost exclusively. Just curious as to the amount of sherry in the Kilchomen… is it very high (I know it didn’t stay too long in the Oloroso butt but, just curious)?

    • http://www.whiskyisrael.co.il Gal(WhiskyIsrael)

      nope. the sherry is not very high… it spent only about 3 months in the Oloroso… it’s a nice sherry addition to a peaty foreground. here in israel it’s cooler, so i can get into my Islays again, but today again the heat is up. it’s summer outside. above 24. tomorrow looking even hotter. evenings are cool, so sipping possible :)
      Slainte.

  • http://twitter.com/hmemcpy Igal Tabachnik

    Very nice review! When I visited Kilchoman distillery back in October, I had a wee taste of the New Make spirit (2 yo) and I picked up a miniature of the Inaugural 3yo release, half of which is headed your way :)

    While I agree with your notes, I really felt like it's still not there yet, it was missing something, some depth I guess. Let's just wait and see how it goes…

    http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/FNG0P6xi8d...

  • Anonymous

    Great to see your review up here and thanks for the nod back to my site. Much appreciated!

    I hope it stays cool so you can keep enjoying the peaties.

  • whiskyisrael

    10x Igal.
    very nice pic btw. can i use it in the post?
    as i said, it's still young, and not complex, but the future holds great promises for this malt.

    i hope by the time i get to visit Islay, it will be much better .

    Gal.

  • http://twitter.com/hmemcpy Igal Tabachnik

    Sure you can, I have some more, pick any you'd like…

  • yossiyitzak

    Sounds like this baby is a bit mature for it's age; I like that. With winter here in the states, I've been sipping the peaties almost exclusively. Just curious as to the amount of sherry in the Kilchomen… is it very high (I know it didn't stay too long in the Oloroso butt but, just curious)?

  • whiskyisrael

    nope. the sherry is not very high… it spent only about 3 months in the Oloroso… it's a nice sherry addition to a peaty foreground. here in israel it's cooler, so i can get into my Islays again, but today again the heat is up. it's summer outside. above 24. tomorrow looking even hotter. evenings are cool, so sipping possible :)
    Slainte.

  • WHISKYhost

    Great to see your review up here and thanks for the nod back to my site. Much appreciated!

    I hope it stays cool so you can keep enjoying the peaties.

  • http://twitter.com/ScotchHobbyist Scotch Hobbyist

    Thanks for the notes, Gal!

    This sounds like it might be a bit of an improvement on the Inaugural release. I like the Inaugural, but it seemed like the attempt at finishing it in sherry took away something from the bourbon cask maturing, without adding the typical sherry influence. Perhaps the sherry comes through a bit better in this one.

    Looking forward to comparing notes once we both get to compare both releases head to head!

    Cheers,
    Jeff

  • http://twitter.com/ScotchHobbyist Scotch Hobbyist

    Thanks for the notes, Gal!

    This sounds like it might be a bit of an improvement on the Inaugural release. I like the Inaugural, but it seemed like the attempt at finishing it in sherry took away something from the bourbon cask maturing, without adding the typical sherry influence. Perhaps the sherry comes through a bit better in this one.

    Looking forward to comparing notes once we both get to compare both releases head to head!

    Cheers,
    Jeff

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