Whisky Focus - Kilchoman 100% Islay 9th Edition Review

Kilchoman 100% Islay 9th Edition Review

28th September 2019
Review of the Kilchoman 100% Islay 9th Edition which this year sees the whisky return to its 100% bourbon cask matured formula.

Kilchoman 100% Islay 9th EditionKilchoman distillery has announced the release of Kilchoman 100% Islay 9th Edition and this year sees the annual release return to the more familiar bourbon barrel maturation of previous 100% Islay releases after the 2018 release which was roughly a 50/50 mix of bourbon and sherry cask matured Kilchoman.

The Kilchoman 100% Islay 9th Edition has been distilled from the farm distillery's 2007 and 2009 barley crops which I would take as meaning that it is a vatting of 9 up until 12 year old whisky, what I can tell you for sure is that it is a vatting of 43 ex-bourbon barrels matured for over 9 years in the Kilchoman on-site dunnage warehouses.

The barley is grown, malted, distilled, matured and bottled at Kilchoman making for a unique character. Kilchoman 100% Islay is bottled at 50% ABV, non chill-filtered, naturally coloured and has a peating level of 20 PPM which is a lower level than other Kilchoman releases, meaning 100% Islay has a lighter peated, fresher feel to it with the bourbon cask maturation creating a fresh and floral balance, with only last years release being a exception with 50% sherry cask matured Kilchoman in the mix but for this year at least Anthony Wills, Kilchoman Founder and Master Distiller, has returned to his trusted American bourbon oak casks.

A release of a total of 12,000 bottles which were due to hit shelves from mid-September (official launch date: September 12th) and you should find it available from specialist online whisky retailers such as The Whisky Exchange, The Whisky Shop and Master of Malt

Kilchoman 100% Islay 9th Edition Review

William Morrison's Tasting Notes:

Nose: A lovely fresh clean nose with vanilla and some honey infused with a lovely light sweet peat smoke, some lemon citrus reminds us of its age.

Taste: Luscious brown sugar coated soft peat smoke and peaty oils leads filling and clinging to every corner of the mouth, it is charged with some zesty lemon and the honey and vanilla from the nose and all with a lovely spicy oak edge.

Finish: Long, the lingering smoke now has a coffee edge, mildly drying oak spice hangs in there until the end.

Comment: For your money the 100% Islay releases have been some of best whiskies that Kilchoman has turned out and this is right up there with the best of them. Its age really has got to be part of what makes this so good, has it peaked here with a vatting of 9 up until around 12 year old whisky or can this get even better, I suspect it is the mix of the younger and older whiskies which makes this so good and the balance here is a absolute pleasure. It may be a lighter peated expression from the distillery but as always with the 100% Islay releases there is enough peat to keep any peat head happy.

SMW Score 91/100

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