Kilchoman Red Wine – Single Cask for K&L (60.3%)

This is a single cask release, and to the best of my knowledge the first ever in red wine. Now this could have seemed to be a curios single cask showing up out of nowhere, and would have probably remained so, had this label not showed up for approval in the United States:

With 50% ABV being Kilchoman’s strength for the special non cask strength expression, such as the Sauternes Cask Matured and the 100% Islay expressions, this seems to be headed for the “regular” market, and will hopefully become part of the lineup.

Now the future expression of Red Wine Cask Matured and this single cask are not the same, as the K&L wine cask is a Cabernet Sauvignon cask from Provence while the regular expression will be in Portuguese wine casks from the Douro. Nevertheless, if the new expression is anything like this one, we’re in for a treat. Of course, I’ll have more on that wine when that expression becomes available.

I very much like the effect red wine (but not only, as my affinity for Sauternes matured or finished whisky will attest) has on whisky, and am looking forward to tasting both the Portuguese wine matured expression when it comes out.

Photo Credit: Lari Walston

Photo Credit:

Kilchoman 2012 Single Red Wine Barrel Cask K&L Exclusive, Cask 470/2012, Distilled 26.7.2012, Bottled 20.1.2017  (60.3% ABV, NCF, NC)

Appearance: Bronze, with a very thin neclace that’s one of sturdiest I’ve ever seen. It took forever to start sending legs down the glass.

Nose: There’s a spicy sweetness on the nose, with more of a toasting oak smell than downright peat at first. Brioche baking in the oven, vanilla custard. After some time in the glass Kilchoman’s ashy signature comes through, but it’s tamed by the wine. A bit of time brings out red fruit and a note of brine. Water brings out more vanilla and that sweet fruit.

Palate: Thick and full, with a first attack of sweet berries, then the peat hits and washes over the tongue. You get the tannins together with a strawberry compote cooked over a peat fire.

Linger: Ash and peat, with some wood spice and a residual sweetness. This sweetness increases for a while after you’ve swallowed, leaving your mouth with a spicy and peaty warmth, with waves of sweetness coming back up on your tongue.


WOW, this one is a real gem. I’ll try to save some for when the Red Wine Cask Matured comes out.
If you can, get hold of a bottle 🙂


I’d like to thank Yori Costa for making this bottle materialize in Israel a mere 10 days after its release, without even leaving his Kibbutz….



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