Kilchoman Fino Sherry Cask Matured Single Malt Whiskey 2023
Rockside Farm on the isle of Islay, Scotland
15,650 bottles for this 2018 distillate matured entirely in ex-Sherry Fino casks from the José y Miguel Martin bodega, produced from twenty casks chosen as always by founder Anthony Wills with the collaboration of Robin Bignal (production manager of the distillery).
Vinous notes that immediately leap to the nose, very fresh and acidulous of berries (currant, strawberry, raspberry), pineapple, yellow kiwi and a touch of lemon curd. And the smoke, veering towards vegetal and arboreal, frames the aromas resting on a carpet of herbs and pine needles, with a slight evocation of wax and a sharper vein of brine and coastal touches. The peatiness is well integrated and composed, in a rich and balanced aromatic concert that tends to soften over time.
In the mouth it expresses a good spiciness (nutmeg, juniper, turmeric) accompanied by peat still suspended between vegetable and maritime velleities, while the fruit becomes more citrusy with tropical incursions. Liquorice root, chocolate, toasted nuts and tobacco complete a more accommodating picture than on the nose, with forays of malt and dried red fruits.
Quite long finish of salt, spices, citrus, roasted coffee and a blanket of dull embers.
Very consistent with the distillery’s profile, so much so that it might leave someone disappointed expecting phantasmagoria from Wills’ hat, and instead you find in the glass a well-made, compact whiskey, with the right balance without overdoing it.