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Loving the Boutiquey Whisky Company so far, I've got a few more whiskies to choose for import when I see in my sample set the Kilchoman.
Oooooooh yaaah Baby!
I'm a big fan of the newest Islay distillery. The whiskies are young, but delicious and full of peat.
So when I see this sample, to say that I'm excited, well it's an understatement. I can't wait to try it, however I know that if I decide to import this one, I'm going to only import a small number of bottles as most folks that I know, when I talk to them about Kilchoman they just sort of stare at me blankeyed.
With that in mind I crack open the sample bottle. Now for those just joining me in this series of reviews a little background information on how The Boutiquey Whisky Company works.
First off the whiskies are No Age Statements, and are a blend of young and old whiskies for the most part.
Why wouldn't you state a whisky's age on the bottle? Well first off by law for it to be considered whisky it will be a minimum of three years old, but another part of the law states that to if you declare a whisky's age on the bottle you're only allowed to state the age of the YOUNGEST whisky in the bottle.
Let's go with Glenfiddich 12 year old. In a bottle of Glenfiddich 12 year old there WILL be older whisky in the bottle, 13, 14 year old whisky. They won't go crazy and put 25 year old whisky in the bottle, but THERE will be older whisky in the bottle.
The reason for that is batch consistency. Folks always want their Glenfiddich 12 year old to taste like Glenfiddich 12 year old.
Now let's get into why you might blend a very old whisky with very young whisky. Young whisky oftentimes has a vibrancy, an intensity to it, that older whiskies will sometimes lose. However those older whiskies while lacking the vibrancy and intensity of their younger brothers, will also have more complexity as the added time in the cask allows the spirit to develop further, picking up more of the flavors of the wood.
However say you've now got this bottle of Glenfiddich, but you're going to play around with it a bit, fiddle with flavor profiles, etc, and you wind up blending a number of different casks together, let's say we'll start at the age of 8 years old and we'll go as far up as 30 years old, anyone know which whisky I'm talking about? It's a famous one!
Now 30 year old Glenfiddich sales for $500+ a bottle here in Australia. That's to give you an idea of the value, however if you throw an age statement onto that bottle, you'll be calling this whisky Glenfiddich 8 year old. Who's going to pay a huge sum of cash for an 8 year old Glenfiddich?
This is a debate raging across the whisky world right now, with more and more distilleries going the No Age Statement route and it's not a bad thing or a good thing in my mind. Some brilliant no age statement whiskies have been produced and for quite some time, Ardbeg Corryvrackin, Ardbeg Uigedail, Aberlour Abunadh, Glenfiddich Snow Phoenix (See what I did there?)
It's also not to say that all No Age Statement whiskies are great, I've had some that I really don't care for personally, specifically and just so you know I'm getting ready to duck, Talisker Storm and Talisker Port Ruighe have both left me wanting something more.
So that's the big difference with The Boutiquey's, now the second big difference is their labels, big comic style labels that tend to show some sort of information regarding the distillery or the history of the whisky. They're very eye catching and some of them are nothing less then brilliant.
Like many independent bottlers, The Boutiquey Whisky Company doesn't chill filter their whiskies nor add any artificial coloring to their whiskies.
Alright after all of that let's talk a bit about the Kilchoman.
It pours pale as, I'd guess a second fill bourbon barrel, but that's just a guess to be honest.
The nose is easily an Islay nose, with buttered popcorn, lemon sherbert, vanilla, honey, soft smoke, peat, and smoked pork
The palate is sweet with vanilla, peat, caramel, creme caramel, and black pepper
The finish is long, sweet, and drying, full of buttery vanilla and peaty.
A bottle of this would run around $125 AUS, before all of those lovely taxes, shipping, etc. It will retail around the lines of $200 or so once all of those lovely taxes and extra bills are done.
12 bottles of this bad boy are coming into Australia. I'm grabbing one of them for myself though, so make it 11 bottles!