So you travel from wherever you are on this planet to Kennacraig, and catch the CalMac ferry to Islay. Then you get to the other side of Lochindaal and at the entrance to Kilchoman, you see the barley you’ll be drinking in about six years growing in a field. That’s exciting.
You get to the distillery, and to your consternation you realize that you’ve traveled 4,130.8 kilometers (2567 miles) to find that there’s no exclusive distillery bottling at the moment. It happens. It’s actually happened to me at two other distilleries, though never at a distillery I didn’t plan to buy a bottle from in the first place 😉
But that’s OK, and I had a really great time at the distillery, I got to taste a couple of expressions I didn’t get to taste, and the most delicious new make I ever tasted. By the way, Anthony, if you’re reading this I’ll tell you a little secret: You could sell the new make unaged and you’d still sell out 🙂
Anyway, being how things go, and given that I was returning to Israel laden with bottles anyway, I put the distillery exclusive bottling out of my mind, and loved every moment of our visit at the distillery. But last Wednesday, I sat down for a few drams with my buddy Dor, who visited Islay about a month after I did, and guess what he whipped out of his bag? You got it, a 100% Islay, sherry finished distillery shop exclusive bottle. Yippie!
Kilchoman Distillery Exclusive, 100% Islay Cask Vatting, Casks 717+718+719/2011, Distilled 17.11.2011, Bottled 12.9.2016, Sherry Finish (57.1% ABV, NCF, NC)
Appearance: Amber, very slow legs coming off a very sturdy thick necklace.
Nose: Freshly turned earth, hint of brine, gentle peat, red berries, vanilla in the background. Four drops of water bring out violets.
Palate: Here’s the real Kilchoman ash, with a handful of berries, sweet paprika and candied citrus peel.
Linger: Ashy and sweet, with clove and some white pepper. Dry on the whole mouth. Very very long, leaving ash and dryness on the back of the palate.
This is its own Kilchoman. While the peat is lighter on the nose, on the palate it is full blown. Something about the 100% Islay barley just works wonders, and the sherry is a match made in heaven. Is anybody going to Islay soon (of course you all are, it’s May after all, isn’t it)?