5 Year Old Single Cask Kilchoman
Abbey Whisky have managed to secure a cask of their own from Kilchoman Distillery.
Cask #285/09 has been matured for over four and a half years in a fresh bourbon barrel before being transferred to a Pedro Ximénez cask for a further four months maturation. The PX finish on this release works a treat, softening things down a little but still allowing the dram to hold the traditional taste & characteristics you would expect from a Kilchoman whisky of this age. A perfect combination.
Single cask #285/09 has been bottled at cask strength, 58.3% vol with 270 bottles filled. Buy it here for £78.95
Caramel sweetness fights with some light sulphuric notes right from the off. This is not a bad thing, it’s just enough of a fresh plimsoll note, before the warm sticky toffee pudding notes take over, you need to look for it, but for me, sulphur is just one of those “notes” I can always pick up, and I love it. The sweetness starts to change from confectionary to something more savoury as the smoke starts to make itself known, think sugar snap peas, good quality ham hock and an amazing soup on a cold day. You’ve got the smoky meatiness but it’s never over powering as the fresh, crisp sweetness is perfectly balanced. Baked figs with crème fresh and then the sherry takes over, fresh juicy plums, dark sweet damson’s, rich dates and all spice, nutmeg and cinnamon with just a hint of black pepper all wrapped up in a soft leather satchel are all there for the taking.
A real winter warmer, the heat hits and warms you all the way from throat to chest, almost like cough syrup, it’s not alcohol burn just a lovely heat. The smoke I expected just hasn’t appeared yet, but those Christmas cake notes off the nose are there. It’s so rich, the raisins are so plump and juicy, the sultana’s so sweet, the gooey toffee notes, and rich dark, overripe cherries are almost tangible. The spices are exploding over your palate, one minute its hot dry steak rub, the next its sweet nutmeg, before hot cinnamon elbows them all out of the way. Then as it starts to become a sherry bomb, in comes the smoke, but in an ashy, flinty, sooty kind of way. It’s like being too close to a bonfire, or eating fire toasted marshmallows, sweet but then drying the palate. Everything changes direction and gentle calming vanilla shines through, like a comforting hug or a gentle caress. In its dying seconds there is the lightest touch of lemon and honey before the ashy smokiness returns.
Long finish on this one, it’s mouth coating, you could almost chew this. It evolves and evolves, sweet, savoury, rich and fruity, drying and ashy. A mineral grittiness that lingers long after the glass is empty.
What a dram! This is Kilchoman at it’s very best! You can taste the distillery, and there’s just the tiniest touch of resin hinting slightly at its youth, but this is quickly replaced by a flavour explosion. You are so busy trying to keep up with the direction of the dram, that it’s all you can think about. A perfect match and one of the best drams I’ve had in a while! So complex with the balance spot on. Sweet and savoury in perfect harmony, in a tango that is endless. Buy this and buy it fast. Just not so fast that I can’t get one.
The first thing I pick up is a massive hit of peaches, quickly followed up by dream topping. An outdoor swimming pool on a fresh summer’s day. Bananas en flambé covered in milk chocolate sauce, with slight astringency but that is too be expected.
Sharp pang of citrus hits hard along with the smoke, then creamy chocolate drops come rushing through. Some spice dances on your tongue before an aromatic wave of cinnamon takes control.
Long, spicy, smoky goodness before fading away to leave your palate with a tinge of cinnamon and ash.
Straight from the nose you can tell what distillery this whisky comes from, the signature of Kilchoman is stamped all over this beautiful single cask. The perfect balance of smoke and sweetness make this a dram worth savouring. It belies its age and strength. Another beautiful single cask from Kilchoman and a tremendous find from the guys at Abbey Whisky. If you like Kilchoman then you will love this, a must have.
With massive thanks to the guys at Abbey Whisky @abbeywhisky for the official sample.