Whisky Review – Kilchoman Loch Gorm 2nd release 2014

Kilchoman Loch Gorm 2nd release 2014
46% ABV
Non-chill Filtered
No added colouring
£53.40 from the Green Welly Stop

The long awaited 2nd release of the sell out Loch Gorm of 2013. I reviewed the first release of Loch Gorm here if you care to look for reflection and expansion. I’m purposefully not rereading my original review to avoid influence.

It’s a lovely natural colour. Excited for this one, here we go:

Nose.

Pungent. Earthy. Moss. Dirty peat. And complex with it. Ashy. Bonfire embers. It’s like someone has bottled a smouldering camp fire in the woods. Chilli biting spices. Red berries. The fruitiness is very much background stuff amongst the underbrush, because the fire, while smouldering will rage with a little air blown on it. There’s a touch of vanilla sweetness there. Creamy. Some slight medicinal bandages/plasters in the background. Some road tar. Cigar box. Some struck match. All this burning and smokiness is surrounded for my by a layer of creaminess. Whilst most definitely intense on the nose it’s almost pulled back when you go in too deep. It’s a good thing, a very good thing because it shows some construction and complexity which you can delve deeply into. Time in the glass and some of the more sherried elements come about, still very much in the distance, but there is an element of burnt fruitcake coming through. And the berries, cherry now, cherry stone, some dry sultana are becoming more forward. Wow. What a nose. I could sniff at this for ages, it’s changing, evolving and always compulsive.

Palate.

Sweet sweet peat. Then a little dry campfire ash. More sweetness. Some light berries. Some creamy vanilla. Mouthcoating. Lightly oily. Some coal tar. A little bread yeast. More smoke and medicinal peat. Crisp and thoroughly satisfying. A final blast of smoke as I’m swallowing.

Finish.

I’ve inhaled the bonfire and now tasting it big time. The fruity berries are there in the finish, along with a massive smokey whiff. Sweet peat. A little drying earthiness. Sweet light burning sugar caramelised with a cherry on top.

Adding water.

Just a small dash of water, I don’t actually think it needs it and don’t want to completely extinguish the fire. Ok, got a little distracted with a phone call so it sat for a good while with a drop of water. The fire…is very alive, lots of smoke billowing on the nose, pure bonfire intense. Dry fruits still in the background, but much searching through the smoke to get to it. The palate isn’t as sweet now initially, dryer smoke meets the arrival, through development some fruity elements come in, but the dry smoke, haystacks and some earthy grassiness is present now, still very crisp and clear. And still with some lovely oiliness. The finish is full of that smoky intensity, with some creamy oak spices and berry finale.

Conclusion.

For me this is an improvement over the first release of Loch Gorm. From memory I though release 1 had very little sherry influence, this release is limited on the sherry influences, but it does have a fruity presence. With water it has one of the more smoky experiences you can have from a Islay whisky. This really is a great dram, arguably more of an autumn/winter drink, I wouldn’t wait that long to get a bottle though because you know it’s going to sell out quickly, and deservedly so. I will be buying this one as a priority.

Great thanks to Kilchoman for providing the review sample.

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