Whisky Review – Kilchoman 100% Islay 4th edition

Kilchoman 100% Islay 4th edition
50% ABV
Natural Colour
Non-Chill Filtered
£64.80 from Kilchoman Directly

From the website:

All parts of the production process for the 100% Islay have taken place at the distillery – from barley to bottle. The barley is grown, malted, distilled, matured and bottled at Kilchoman making for a unique character. Bottled at 50% abv and peated to a lower level to that of other releases, 100% Islay has a lighter, fresher feel to it. Citrus and lemon notes come through with soft peat smoke and a long smooth finish.

Here’s my thoughts:

Nose.

There’s some light smoke, intense, but like a bonfire in the distance. This is peat of a bonfire variety, not so much medicinal, a good kindling and leafy fire, with some earthy dirty thrown in. There’s some biscuity malt. Some cereal grain, of a creamy nature. Lots of pepper and chilli. A smidgen of oak. There is a touch of citrus, but very hidden way out back.

Palate.

Lovely oily barley, very coating and rich. Creamy grain. Light vanilla, very silky. Complex citrus, sweet on the front of the tongue and bitter further back, some juice, pith and peel all in one. A little soot. As the development goes on more peat sweetness comes through with grassy earthy notes going into the finish.

Finish.

Sweet dirty peat. Fresh lemon crisp finish, quite long. Creamy oak aftertaste, tiniest sootiness hangs around. Good stuff. Very moreish.

Adding Water.

Adding a splash. Smoke is more pronounced now, the spices reduced and the citrus notes easier to identify. The palate is still very creamy, now it’s juicier though, with lots of citrus up front, and a little more tartiness to those citrus flavours. The finish remains crisp and palate cleansing, very refreshing in fact. With the citrus hanging around for a long while, and a little earthy grass and fresh hay at the very end.

Conclusion.

This is lovely stuff. Very summery in its nature, and I usually associate Islay drams with autumn and winter, but this is flavoursom, clean, and refreshing. Excellent for summer evenings.

Many thanks to Kilchoman for the sample.

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Whisky Review – Glenglassaugh Torfa

Glenglassaugh Torfa
50% ABV
Peated Highland
Natural Colour
Non-Chill Filtered
£39.55 from MasterOfMalt

Glenglassaugh is a new distillery for me, and this peated expression is new for them. As with all new whiskies I’m looking forward immensely to this experience. Here we go.

Nose.

Meaty. Barbecued bacon fat. Smouldering peat. It’s a phenolic peat, not quite TCP, but clouds of smoke. I had to double check I hadn’t poured the wrong sample, because it’s very Islay. Behind the fire there is some floral softness lingering, and some honey, indicative of its highland origins. With time in the glass more of that floral honey comes through, and even a little citrus to the mix. More time in the glass and softer fruits are present as the peat retracts. Some soft melon and ripe tropical fruits.

Palate.

Sweet, light sugars, lemon, barley sugar, there is very little peat on the palate, there is a slight burn from the higher than normal ABV, but it’s well rounded and very highland on the palate. Sweet, floral honeys, a little caramel. Very rich and mouthcoating. Those soft fruity notes are hidden amongst the heat.

Finish.

The fire is back warming the soul. Peat smoke, ash, lemon rind. Drying out to oak. Quite a quick, sharp finish, but cleaning on the palate and quite refreshing.

Adding Water.

Added a splash. A slight re ignition of the embers as the heavy smoke returns. Fruit is still there though, a little more balanced, with the squashed melon more up front now. There are also some tobacco notes, a greater depth to the heather honey, and all around easier to engage. The palate has less of the ABV burn as expected, and this allows a more fuller fruit profile to come forward, the overripe melon, now a little banana also joins in. Very fruity, the smoke is a little less on the finish, but the finish appears longer to me, still crisp and refreshing, but with added fruitiness all the way through. This dram is a corker with a splash of water.

Conclusion.

As my first exposure to Glenglassaugh this is a great one. I love the peaty highlander merger here, very two sided, and most intriguing. Glenglassaugh was a mothballed distillery for many years resuming production of spirit late in 2008, so there will be much more to come from this distillery in the near future, and I’m looking forward to experiencing more.

Many thanks to Glanglassaugh for the review sample.

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