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.