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Kilchoman Single Bourbon Cask 11 YO

Nozinan Mystery Sample Series - #5

6 489

@NozinanReview by @Nozinan

26th Jun 2019

1

  • Nose
    ~
  • Taste
    ~
  • Finish
    ~
  • Balance
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  • Overall
    89

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

I was privileged to try this tonight. I’ve been looking at this mystery sample from @OdysseusUnbound for a while since he dropped it off in our last swap. Instead of adding it to the 80 samples in a drawer of my cabinet, I used it to help set up a mini-cabinet in my office. The thought was making some samples more accessible might make it easier to get to them. Has it worked? My overall consumption of spirits has declined steadily since April, and this is only my fourth review in the second quarter of the year (compared to 7 in the first quarter).

This expression is a “Private Cask release” bottled for Derek and Ian’s Friends of Artisan. Distilled Aug. 29 2007 and bottled Jan. 9, 2019, it slept in an ex-bourbon cask in between those dates. It does not say “Cask Strength” but at 55.9% it probably is. It is non-Chill-Filtered and natural colour. The tasting notes on the bottle: “Nomnomnomnom”.

I don’t have a lot of experience with Kilchoman, so it’s not surprising that I didn’t guess correctly. I listed my top three guesses as Lagavulin, Laphroaig and Caol Ila. Oops. At least I was able to rule out Wiser’s Legacy, and narrow it down to the right Island.

This expression, tasted in a Brilliant Highland Whisky Glass, is reviewed in my usual manner, allowing it to settle after which I take my nosing and tasting notes, followed by the addition of a few drops of water, waiting, then nosing and tasting. The notes were recorded before the reveal.


Nose: 21.5/25

Sweet peat on the nose. Not dirty or ashy, but dry. Slight citrus in the background. I get a hint of green apple behind the peat. Not super complex but very pleasant on the nose. More lemony with water. (22/25)

Taste: 21.5/25

The peat is right there, more bitter and less sweet than in the nose with citrus at the onset and into the development. Not sure if this is CS but I would guess the ABV is between 45-52% (I was close). Again, not too complex but a flavourful peat blaster. With water the lemon explodes, but the peat still holds its own. Quite nice. (22.5/25)

Finish: 22/25

Pepper and peat, astringent. Sour as it trails off. Long finish.

Balance: 22/25

The nose and palate are complementary. Quite peat heavy, but nice. Comes together nicely with a little water. (22.5/25)

Score: Neat - 87/100 With Water: 89/100


This is an excellent whisky. It’s very peat forward, and I think it would have to be a whisky for a particular mood.

Thanks again @OddysseusUnbound for the opportunity to try this one!

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4 comments

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

Nice review. I’m glad you enjoyed it. The tasting note on the bottle (Omnomnomnom) is what sold me on it. I’ve been favouring ex-bourbon cask whiskies lately and this one fits the bill nicely, but you definitely need to be in the mood for it. The dry peat aspect reminds me a little bit of Kilkerran 12.

3 months ago 1Who liked this?

@cricklewood
cricklewood commented

Nice review, it's rare to see 10+yr old Kilchoman's but lately it seems they've released some casks and they always get rave reviews. I've never heard of this Friends of Artisan outfit.

@OdysseusUnbound what would you compare this bottle to, are there any parallels with anything you have had before? I am just trying to get my bearings, the only single cask Bourbon Kilchoman I've tried was a young feisty and dirty little number.

3 months ago 0

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

@cricklewood It isn’t dirty at all. Quite clean and dry. It reminds me a bit (but just a bit) of Talisker and Kilkerran, as far as the character of the peat smoke. I don’t find it quite as iodine-heavy as Laphroaig or even Lagavulin.

3 months ago 0

@BlueNote
BlueNote commented

Thanks @Nozinan. You pretty much nailed the Kilchoman profile. I would venture to say it is atypical of the general Islay profile and leans more towards some peated Speysiders and Islanders. I'm thinking of certain Ledaigs and Benriachs, although I would say it is generally closer to Caol Ila than the other Islay offerings. Of the four I have tried, I have yet to meet a Kilchoman I didn't like. Cheers.

3 months ago 0

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