We last encountered Kilchoman only a few short months ago, when its Summer 2010 Release single malt whisky was still on the shelves. Now those days are gone, but Kilchoman is back with another semiannual release.
Winter 2010 finds Kilchoman still at three years on the barrel, and as big and burly as that youth implies. Pale and misleading, one looks at Kilchoman and assumes it will be easygoing stuff. Take a sip and it knocks you back. The peat is as big as Ardbeg, with plenty of alcohol to back up the punch. I don’t have any more of the Summer 2010 Release handy for comparative purposes, so I thought I’d compare Kilchoman directly to Laphroaig Quarter Cask, just to see the similarities.
There are virtually none. Compared to Kilchoman, Laphroaig Quarter Cask is smooth and sweet, balanced with spice, brown sugar notes, and of course a peat smoke lacing throughout. Kilchoman however has chutzpah: Peat and fire, and then, thank God, a pleasantly sweet finish to temper some of the burn.
This is actually a fun malt to drink. It is not complicated. Rather, it is a pure expression of whiskymaking, undeterred by and unbothered with barrel age. Looking back at my Summer 2010 notes, I don’t see a lot different in my comments (or rating), but I will say that Kilchoman is one malt you definitely need to try… before it gets too old.
B+ / $70 / kilchomandistillery.com