Prima Vinum – a Belgian whisky shop – was looking for a single cask release of Kilchoman. But the owner, Peter Van Dijck, was faced with a dilemma, for the two samples he received were both very much to his liking. Cask #528 was filled on 1st September 2011, cask #764 on the 9th December of the same year. Both bourbon barrels shaped this Kilchoman’s character until September 2018, which is when Anthony Wills decided to re-cask them on Madeira hogshead, allowing the whisky to finish for another 8 months. Peter could not choose and in a flurry of bewilderment he decided to mix both samples. Eureka! The vatting of both casks yielded his favourite expression and the Twin Cask Release was born. This also explains why there are 529 bottles, but I suggest you hurry, for I believe they will fly off the shelves!
The nose is a mix of tropical fruit on the one hand and burnt wood on the other and… it is simply delicious! I get strawberries, apricots, raspberries and kumquats left, while on the right the peat offers an unmistakable and beautiful smoke development (50ppm, by the way). There is also a hint of burnt butter, cuberdons and cloves. Leave it to breathe for a while and you’ll get some more wood notes. Call it a typical Kilchoman, drenched in a sauce of tropical fruit. Top!
The arrival is sweet and sour, spicy and at perfect strength. Remarkable. Sweet and sour in the sense of grapefruit, strawberries, redcurrants and then suddenly that peat again that offers a very pleasantly warm and grand smokiness. Midpalate a salty edge appears that leaves no doubt that the Kilchoman spirit dominates the cask and not the other way around. What a belter!
The finish is long, spicy warm and quite soothing.
Great story and a great Kilchoman. I’m sold! Available from the 20th of July from their shop for around 100 EUR. Thanks, Peter, for the very generous sample. Lovely detail: it’s the 40th Kilchoman that I try.