I tend to consider myself a reasonably logical person. I'd like to think I can stop and make sure that the whisky I buy is a reasonably value for the money, I'd like to think I won't often overpay for things. And now, I might have just made a liar out of myself. I had a chance to taste this recently at a whisky festival, and I was immediately hooked. I was smitten. I had to have it. Despite this bottle being on sale for Kensington's birthday sale ($160 for a 10 yr whisky), I still felt remorse for what had transpired - reminds of me Anakin Skywalker during episode 3 after he had partaken in the death of Mace Windu. What have I done? he/I cried. ok now on to the whisky. Wow, just wow. the oldest Kilchoman that I'm aware of that has come to Alberta, Kensington Wine Market having managed to secure the cask for their 25th anniversary. Well done gents, you've got a winner on your hands.
Nose: Remarkably soft for a 10 yr at 56.6%. You'd think something like this would burn a bit more, but no, my nose is greeted by waves of soft peat smoke, the peat is earthy, damp, has a hint of that fresh cut lawn, but you're smelling it in the morning while it's still moist with dew lemon meringue pie; then there's the brine/ salt water - a true sitting by the seaside watching the waves crash against the rocks experience. Some vanilla icing. I love this nose. I find it remarkable that the sweet notes come out so easily on the nose despite such a big peat presence.
Palate: OOOMPH, what an arrival. I need a moment to settle in and unravel what's going on, bit by bit. Gotta say it again: This. Is. Huge. Light amounts of white ash, wet farmy hay, if you could taste the smell of a large handful of wet grass thrown into a campfire, this would be it. There's a lemony citrus tang that seems to be somewhat common among Kilchomans, but it's been well tempered - imagine a dessert chef crafting his lemon squares with just the right amount of baking soda so you get the full hit of beautiful lemon flavor, but it's tempered and smoothed out so that it's not sharp. Black Pepper. Arrives in delightful layers and just makes for an excellent ride.
The finish is a long lingering collection of smoky lemon desserts - lemon pie, lemon squares, hint of coconut. This bourbon cask had a lot going for it.
Ever had a whisky that was so good that it just forces you to smile no matter how bad a day you've had? Yeah, this is it. Stunning stuff from Kilchoman/Kensington Wine Market. I'm so annoyed - on principle I wanted to hate this. How dare anyone think that $200CAD for a 10 year old whisky is acceptable? After discount, $160 is still tough to swallow, but clearly I can't stick to my own principles when it comes to this. I bought one and am seriously considering another. I love this whisky but I hate myself for folding like a cheap tent and buying it.... and wanting more. sigh