Whisky Review – Kilchoman 2014 Festival Bottling

Kilchoman 2014 Festival Bottling
Limited to 525 bottles
Matured for over 5 years in two fresh bourbon casks and finished in a fino sherry butt for 3 months.
58.7% ABV
£79.50 from Kilchoman

The 2014 Feis Ile bottling has been matured for over 5 years in two fresh bourbon barrels and finished in a fino sherry butt for 3 months. There will be 525 bottles at cask strength and will retail for £79.50 per bottle on Thursday 29th May.

Nose.

Heather smoke. Medicinal TCP. A touch of vegetal amongst the floral notes. Complex grass, compost, earthy moss, even a touch of cabbage. Very savoury with not an awful lot of fruit. Some vanilla. Some salty maritime notes. A touch of tar. This Whisky is all about the filth. And a filthy little bugger it is. With a little time in the glass the heather smoke calms to give a little heather honey.

Palate.

Raw. Hot. Ashy Filth transfers to the palate. Quite salty later in the arrival. A little sweeter vanilla and honey during the development. With some more familiar sherry notes coming through, a little dried raisin, and some mixed spice.

Finish.

The finish is shorter than I would have hoped. Sweet and sour. Some salted caramel amongst the dirty mole hills of earth and sods of rain soaked grass.

Adding water.

A fair drop added. The nose now does have a little fruit. Dry raisin, cooked apple and some white sour grape amongst the smoke pile. A few brambles with some young blackberries are evident. The palate is reduced slightly in saltiness, with that added fruit layer from the nose making an appearance on the tongue. Very slight, but some sour berries and enhanced vanilla sweetness and powdered sugar is coming through the development. There is also a touch of fizziness going into the finish, which is still on the short side, slightly drier, with a little less filth.

Conclusion.

Interesting stuff. If you like your dram on the filthy side then don’t add water to this one, if you want a little more balance and layering of variation in flavours then add a good drop, but you will extinguish the smoke a tad, and wash away some of the dirt.

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By scotchandscifi Posted in Whisky

Whisky Review – Benriach 12 year old

Benriach 12 year old
40% ABV
£26.43 from MasterOfMalt

I won this bottle a while back in a competition that www.scotchwhiskyexpress.com ran, lucky bugger that I am sometimes. :-). Finally got to open it and well, very surprised.

Nose.

Very fruity indeed. Tropical fruits. Pineapple dominant, fresh sweet apple, oranges, kiwi. Light dusting sugar. Some malty sugars. An influence of oak, but minimal, with the slightest hint of char from the oak.

Palate.

All that fruity goodness comes through on the palate from arrival through development. It is a very juicy, fruity dram. Through the development we also have some of that oak tannins, charred wood effect, with the fruit going back slightly. Confectionary sugar is evident all the way through the experience.

Finish.

Sweet. Fruit and sugar fades slowly, with a little dryness towards the very end with a touch of oak tannin bitterness, but nothing off putting.

Adding water.

Small drop as it’s already 40%. The nose is now more malty floral with the fruit quite dulled down. The palate still retains it’s fruitiness, but mid development more bitter notes come through from the oak. The finish retains this tannin rich flavour, with the familiar sugars coming through at the end. One not to water in my opinion.

Conclusion.

I wish, I wish this was 46% with NCF. I’m not sure there is much if any colouring anyway, but it would be nice to have this confirmed. Don’t get me wrong, this is a fantastic, easy going, tasty, moreish and stable session dram. It’s really great stuff. Loving it! I would love to experience it a little more purer though, and hopefully one day that will be possible.

Special thanks to www.scotchwhiskyexpress.com, who I won this bottle from a few months ago.

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