Whisky Focus - Kilchoman 100% Islay 11th Edition Review

Kilchoman 100% Islay 11th Edition Review

22nd September 2021
Review of the Kilchoman 100% Islay 11th Edition which this year is a combination of  26 bourbon barrels and 7 Oloroso sherry butts which have been matured for a minimum of 9 years.

Kilchoman distillery has just released the next instalment in their Kilchoman 100% Islay series, the Kilchoman 100% Islay 11th Edition.

The 100% Islay 11th Edition was distilled from the Kilchoman farm distillery's 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2011 Optic & Publican barley harvests before being matured for a minimum of 9 years in 26 bourbon barrels and 7 Oloroso sherry butts then bottled in 2021.

Kilchoman tells me that the combination of lightly peated barley matured in both bourbon and sherry casks has created an intense combination of floral sweetness, layers of rich fruity character and soft maritime peat smoke.

Anthony Wills, Kilchoman Founder and Managing Director commented: "From our inception, the 100% Islay range, Scotland’s only Single Farm Single Malt, was our reason for being. It represents the rebirth of farm distilling, where the responsibility for growing and malting barley, the foundation of single malt, is not outsourced but completed on site with skill, care and attention to detail. An unbroken chain of creation from barley field to bottle, each stage all done right here at Kilchoman.

"Having tasted some excellent older sherry butts we quickly decided that they were at their peek, we then tried a few bourbon barrels of a similar age and the backbone of this edition came together very easily. Our bourbon barrels and Oloroso butts are incredibly consistent and this combination of roughly 40% sherry butts and 60% bourbon barrels works phenomenally with the style of whisky we produce. It allows both the citrus sweetness of our spirit and the rich fruity flavours of the casks to balance perfectly,"

Kilchoman 100% Islay 11th Edition is bottled at 50% ABV, non chill-filtered, naturally coloured, it is a release of a total of 12,000 bottles which hit shelves in mid-September (official launch date: September 15th) 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 11th Edition Review

William Morrison's Tasting Notes:

Nose: A fantastic clean, fresh nose, gentle sweet peat smoke infused with vanilla, honey and a little lemon citrus and some distant redcurrant and liquorice. A little salted toffee lurks in the background.

Taste: Lovely vanilla infused sugared peat smoke fills every corner of the mouth, a little lemon zest, spiced green apple and pear, the liquorice from the nose is more pronounced, also a touch of sweet raisin and sultana fruitiness, toffee all with a lovely spicy oak tannin edge.

Finish: Long, the sweet sugary peat smoke is very slowly mellowed by the vanilla, mildly drying and lingering redcurrant, liquorice and oak spice,

Comment: Another cracking 100% Islay, I had a small preview sample of this during the virtual Kilchoman Fčis Ěle 2021 earlier this year, I found a wee redcurrant and liquorice thread through it this time around, but the same goes here as I said of the preview sample I had of this, the delicious sugary sweet peat is the star of this show and the touch of sherried fruit simply adds to the delicious peaty pleasure. The difference this time is after a few drams to assess it I have rated it a few points higher.

SMW Score 93/100

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