Well, after last months epic response to the Caol Ila – and especially because some people had to miss out on that lovely Islay, we decided to bump our last Islay (and indeed, our last Scottish whisky) whisky of the year forward a month. This one is a much sweeter beast than the Caol Ila – a sherry bomb with a peat-fueled rocket in it! Please make way for the Kilchoman Loch Gorm. An Islay spirit aged entirely in Spanish sherry butts.

Best of both worlds… sherry and peat! WOOT!

Nineteen ex-oloroso sherry butts (a butt is around 500l)  of varying ages (filled in 2007, 2008 and 2011) have been married together and bottled in Spring 2018. Interestingly, all the Sherry butts are sourced from the same renowned bodega – Jose Miguel Martin. This allows strict control over the wood that is used. Nothing but the very best wood for Kilchoman spirit!

These ex-oloroso sherry casks impart a combination of heavy sherry notes, spicy dark chocolate, rich fruits and burnt sugar. This balances beautifully with the typical Kilchoman peat smoke and citrus fruits found within this farm crafted spirit.

According to Anthony Wills (founder of Kilchoman distillery) – “The Oloroso sherry maturation of Loch Gorm gives it a beautiful balance of big rich sherry flavours which pair very nicely with the peat smoke, soft fruits and typical sweetness of Kilchoman”

Ok – well lets dive in , shall we?

Nose: Sweet sweet smoke with undertones of kelp-littered beach carried on wafts of hot-chocolate.
Palate: An initial smokey hit that quickly opens to reveal a very light, fruit driven spirit. Noticeably absent is any sign of spice or pepper. There is no heat here – just a beautiful balance of sweet caramelised fruit tempered by savoury smoke.
Finish: And here comes that Islay coastal influence… the salt, the musty peat and just hints of coastal kelpy iodine.


ABV: 46%
Bottle Size: 700ml
Region: Scotland – Islay
Peated: Yes
Peat Level: 50ppm
Non-chill filtered
Matured In: Oloroso Sherry butts
Out-turn: 15000 bottles.

Nose: Dried fig, orange peel and sea salt with hints of bacon, oaky spice, cinnamon and citrus sweetness.
Palate: Stewed plums, morello cherries and dark chocolate with layers of salted caramel, herbaceous heather, honey and wet ashy peat smoke.
Finish: Cooked apples and pears with waves of all spice, dark chocolate and barbecue smoke.

Kilchoman Loch Gorm


Kilchoman is a distillery in a class of it’s own in many ways. As Scottish distilleries go, a mere babe being built in 2005. In fact, it was the first distillery built in Islay in 124 years. A family concern, founded and run by Anthony Wills and his three sons – the Kilchoman distillery is the smallest on Islay and the only distillery on the island run as a family-owned, independent distillery. All of it’s whisky is aged on-site as single malt. It is not chilll-filtered. None is sold to independent bottlers, nor is any used in a blended whisky. It is exactly this meticulous and precise control over all aspects of the whisky making process that has resulted in such a young distillery making such a big splash on the international whisky scene.

Kilchoman Loch Gorm
Kilchoman Loch Gorm

What stands Kilchoman out from the crowd is the fact that it is Scotland’s only ‘farm distillery’. They grow, harvest and malt their own barley on-site. The use their own peat for the malting – which they do in their own malting house. Once again – this allows for precise control on what goes into the whisky – from farm to glass.

Kilchoman Loch Gorm  is named after the largest freshwater loch on Islay. One of Loch Gorm’s major tributaries is the Allt Gleann Osamail Burn – from which the Kilchoman distilleries sources it’s production water.

The spirit produced at Kilchoman is characteristically light and fruity. This is achieved using longer than average fermentation times and slow distillation in very small stills. This allows maximum contact with the copper smoothing out the raw spirit.