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I think it would be a fair to say that Kilchoman is the current darling of Islay, it's rather impressive if you consider they've only been in operation for 15 years. The Jim Swan production techniques & good quality cask management are certainly part of the equation. I hope we will see the spirit and releases maintain that quality on longer aging. That is if any of us will be able to afford a 20 yr old version of Kilchoman when it does eventually roll around.
This edition was fully matured in Douro Valley red wine barriques, casks were laid down in 2012 and bottled in 2017.
Nose: Big milky almost latex like peat, burnt grain, ashy. Cooked berries, ginger and horseradish. A greasy feeling of cooked fat, chilies and pickled plum.
Palate: Oily, heavy peat, stuffy smoke and then flips to tart berries. Spices and a feeling of medicinal roots ginseng/burdock not as sweet as I anticipated. Loads of burnt grain it's oily mouth coating.
Finish: A lingering fruitiness along with a kind green herbal woody note and ginger (is this some French oak wine barrique?) there's a touch of vanilla that keeps it creamy and round.
Notes: The nose on this is tight but this is a fault I find in many Kilchoman, it takes a while to tease out it's merits but the overall effect of the wine maturation wasn't to my liking at first.
I'm finally enjoying the final 1/2 of the bottle but I still feel a certain dissonance between the ashy coastal elements and the spicy/herbal/green wine casks. I was glad to have purchased this but would not go on a quest for another bottle.