Kilchoman is the youngest operational distillery on Islay (for now). My experience with their offerings isn’t extensive but I’ve liked everything I’ve tried from them. Sanaig is rumoured to be 70-80% ex-sherry casks and 20-30% ex-bourbon casks. I’m always weary of sulphur with sherry casks, but Kilchoman owner Antony Wills is one of the few people in whisky who openly talks about sulphur and the lengths Kilchoman has to go to in order to avoid sulphur taint. Many industry people insist the “sulphur problem” has been solved, but many of us know better. Anyhow....
Sampled Sept 3 2020, neat from a Canadian Glencairn
- Nose: sweet peat smoke, vanilla, raisins, cranberries, walnuts, apples, a little balsamic vinegar
- Palate: rich, full-bodied, sweet on arrival, with a mineral note developing, slightly briny, vanilla, gentle smoke, walnuts, raisins,
- Finish: long and lingering, milk chocolate, dates, walnuts, a touch of black pepper, cloves, and cinnamon, apples, with peat smoke returning
Kilchoman continues to impress me. I really loved the single cask (ex-bourbon matured) I reviewed here (91/100). While the Sanaig isn't quite at that level for me, it's still top-notch for a "standard" release. Highly recommended.
@OdysseusUnbound I've had 4 of their offerings and so far I've yet to meet a Kilchoman I didn't like. The Sanaig is one I have yet to try. It's on my list thanks to your usual very useful review.
@BlueNote I’m hoping to snag a Machir Bay. That one is mostly ex-bourbon casks, and I think I’d like that even more. The single cask I had from Kilchoman was an 11 Year single Cask ex-bourbon and it was right in my wheelhouse. Sort of a cross between Caol Ila and Kilkerran.