...where distraction is the main attraction.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Single Malt Report: Kilchoman Madeira Cask Matured (2015)

Released a year after yesterday's Port Cask, Kilchoman's Madeira Cask Matured single malt was distilled in the same year (2010 per the website, 2011 per the bottle, again), but bottled a year later.  So this one is a year older.  The whisky also spent its full life in 20ish wine casks, in this case first fill ex-Madeira casks.  I liked the Port Cask, let's see how a little more maturation fares with this winesky.

Brand: Kilchoman
Region: Islay
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Maturation: first-fill ex-Madeira casks
Age: 4 years (2011-2015)
Alcohol by Volume: 50%
Limited Bottling: 6,000
Colored? No
Chillfiltered? No
Many thanks, again, to Brett for the sample!!!

Its color is a brassy gold.

The peat is in the mid-to-background in the nose, while ripe apples and limes are up front.  There's lemon cake and vanilla, or is it pound cake in orange syrup?  A small note of peach candy.  By the 30 minute mark the wine has vanished and I'm left with a glass of newmake.

The palate is loaded with cinnamon and tequila.  Reminiscent of their 100% Islay releases.  A roots-and-soil peat.  Gingerbread cookies and a light fruity sweetness.

The simple finish is of cinnamon, tequila, and peppery peat.

Will a little extra water open this one up further?

WITH WATER (~40%abv)
The nose is big on vanilla and marshmallows.  Then gravel, honey, lemon zest, and something synthetic like carpet fibers.

The palate has cinnamon, lots of cinnamon.  Really grassy, vegetal, and sugary.  It's very similar to their newmake.

Cinnamon, vanilla, and marshmallows in the finish.


Other than the nose, this is so similar to Kilchoman's newmake that it leaves me surprised that it's even four years old.  The 3yo Port Cask felt more mature than this.  While I do like Kilchoman's distillate, I expected more from this product.  I'm not a tequila (specifically white tequila here, añejo is fine, and so is mezcal) fan, so those notes do nothing positive for me.  I'm used to a richness in Kilchoman's 3yos, but this 4yo was missing that altogether.  While I'm glad the wine didn't topple the spirit, something needs to wake this one up a bit.  Water does not do the trick.  And then there's the pricing...

Wow, I just shat all over this whisky.  This stuff really isn't a horror show.  I'd drink it again and it's sure to warm a body up in the winter.  But it's the first regular Kilchoman I've had that feels younger than its age, which means that their usual magic didn't work this time.

Availability - Europe only, I think
Pricing - $100-$125
Rating - 75