Kilchoman – ImpEx Exclusive Single Cask – Sherry Finish – Cask #494/08 – Single Malt Scotch Whisky | 59.6% (119.2 Proof)
Sample provided by ImpEx Beverages
Color/Appearance: A pale golden liquid with a few drops of blood. Beautiful and natural looking. It is so wonderful to look at this and know that what you have in your hands is exactly what was in the cask. How pure and true. Sorry for the lack of a real photo, I flew through the small sample and forgot to take one.
Nose: Smoke from a grove of oak trees on fire. More of a pure smoke than anything man-made burning. Partially dried grass in the early fall. A woven basket full of ripe fruit; oranges, melon and limes. Damp earth freshly fertilized. A salty rock in the forest that deer sometimes lick. Spearmint, ozone, and freshly excavated sea shells. A burning oak cask dropped into the La Brea tar pits. Islay in a glass. I know it must be in my mind but I really can feel the farm location a little more that the sea here.
Palate: A medicinal blast of peat that quickly moves into sweeter territory. As if tar somehow has been mixed with enough honey to make it delicious. Seaweed and strawberries. The sherry like sweeter elements don’t detract at all from the deeper darker peat and smoke flavors. They work together so well in this whisky, that seemingly incongruous flavors make sense as one.
Finish: Minty and fresh with bright peat lingering. A glimpse of sherried oak and a light sprinkling of cinnamon. The earthy peat slowly dissolving into something less pungent and raw.
Overall: Ah, my first single cask from Kilchoman and it’s even better than I imagined. It seems as if the excellent Kilchoman base spirit is perfectly merged with a fresh and active sherry cask. This clocks in at just under sixty percent but there is no burn whatsoever. The strength only amplifies the great flavors to reach new and impressive heights. I would pick up a bottle of this in a second. if it was still available. I certainly will be pouncing on any single casks that I see in the future. At just over five years old it cannot be stressed how mature and interesting a spirit this is. Such a nice cask selection by the folks at ImpEx. I certainly hope they grab some more as soon as possible. Thanks to ImpEx Beverages for providing the sample. I kept feeling like with a free sample I should avoid gushing so much but I love everything I have tasted so far from Kilchoman. This first taste of the pure undiluted liquid directly from the cask has confirmed what I already believed. That they are one of the greatest up and coming distilleries in the world and deserve all of the accolades that they get. I sleep well knowing that my rating is accurate.