It's been a really long day. Nothing that would kill me, mind you. Just that the sometimes the rigors of daily life can eventually catch up with you. And that's when you need the escape. That one happy place you can go to and pretend nothing around you really matters.
And for me that place is Islay.
Especially now given how fresh my memories are of that wonderful place. The clean air, the calming green and simply the thought of being surrounded by so many amazing whiskies.
On our second day on the island I convinced the others to head on down to Kilchoman for, not just their whiskies, but their sinfully delicious Machir Bay soaked chocolate brownie. If there is one thing you must do before you die is try that dessert in the distillery cafe. It is just absolutely divine.
After stuffing my face with a tasty roast beef sandwich and the famed brownie I sat down with something else that was equally divine and also made at Kilchoman. The seven year old 2008 Vintage.
This is the first time Kilchoman have released a whisky this old for the general public. Though, I'm not counting the one-off 10 year old released a few months ago for a cancer charity auction in support of, then distillery manager, John MacLellan. He sadly lost his battle against the same disease three months ago. RIP good man.
The Limited Edition 2008 Vintage is a vatting of fresh ex American bourbon barrels filled in July 2008 and bottled in August 2015. Seems like older Kilchomans are just as tasty as their younger siblings.
My sample is from an open bottle and served at 46%
That signature Kilchoman toasted barley. And the equally familiar smoke. Then there's that typical Islay grist. Cereal-y with a soft layer of peat. A hint of green lime. Melon. Touch of oak. Green berries. Another classic Kilchoman nose. Still seems quite young and sprightly even though it's a good 18 months or so older than the oldest Kilchoman on the market.
Crisp barley. Nice solid oak. That Islay smoke. Vanilla. Dries mid-palate. Now a little sweeter. More chocolate. More fruit. Very creamy mouthfeel. It's not overly complex but I didn't expect it to be. Just the classic Kilchoman flavours coming through nicely.
Long. Drying. Touch of oak. Black pepper.
I love this distillery. Love everything about it. And so I'm probably a little biased. But then again I'm a sucker for good old-fashioned bourbon barrels done right. Clean crisp flavours where I can taste the distillery. And this one ticks all those boxes for me.