Whisky Focus - Kilchoman Fis le 2021 Experimental Casks Tasting Pack Review

Kilchoman Fis le 2021 Experimental Casks Tasting Pack

9th May 2021
Review of the Kilchoman Fis le 2021 Experimental Casks Tasting Pack which you can join Kilchoman to taste live online at 7.15pm on Thursday 3rd June.

Kilchoman Fis le 2021 Experimental Casks Tasting Pack - Kilchoman Calvados Cask #356 2018, Port Cask #480 2014, Cognac Cask #737 2016 and STR Cask #207 2018

Fis le 2021, Islay's annual festival of music and malt, is fast approaching and as with last year due to the ongoing Covid pandemic the 2021 celebrations will be online. This year Kilchoman distillery are planning a packed schedule of events for their Fis day on Thursday 3rd June, everything from fully immersive 360 degree interviews with the production team to behind the scenes Q&As, Live Tastings and Food Pairings.

Kilchoman has made three special Kilchoman whisky tasting packs available for whisky fans to enjoy and to join in with live tastings if they wish from the comfort of their own home.

The third tasting of those packs is the Kilchoman Experimental Casks pack which contains four whiskies. Over the years Kilchoman have released a number of limited edition experimental cask types, from last years Fino to the upcoming Madeira, they have always enjoyed trying something a bit different. These casks are all full maturation and not finishes, allowing the full impact of the different cask types to be felt on the whisky.

You can join Kilchoman to taste the Kilchoman DNA pack live at 7.15pm on Thursday 3rd June, I was lucky enough to get hold of the Kilchoman DNA pack and this is my thoughts on the four whiskies in it:

Kilchoman Calvados Cask 356 2018 Review

This cask is selected from Kilchoman's first batch of full maturation Christian Drouin Calvados casks. Bottled at 62.1% ABV, non chill filtered and naturally coloured.

William Morrison's Tasting Notes:

Nose: Sweet apple and less obvious pear, honey, raisin and a gentle touch of peat smoke.

Taste: Sweet sugared peat, vanilla, a little butterscotch, a touch of lemon zest, a little apple and pear and a wee touch of oak spice, it still has a wee touch of spiritiness about it.

Finish: A longish finish, it may be young but it hangs in there. the touch of apple is still hanging on as is the sweet peat and lemon zest, quite spicy after a couple of mouthfuls.

Comment: This is young but has potential, great to know Kilchoman are experimenting to offer whisky fans something off the normal beaten track., will we see this again in another few years or so, I hope so but it is too young yet but that could dramatically change in another couple of years.

SMW Score  80/100

Kilchoman Port Cask 480 2014 Review

Fully matured in Ruby Port cask for almost 7 years. Ruby Port casks similar to this have been used in previous Kilchoman limited releases in the past, however this single cask has had a far longer maturation. Bottled at 57.3% ABV, non chill filtered and naturally coloured.

William Morrison's Tasting Notes:

Nose: An enticing rich fruity nose with sweet raisin, plum, apricot, orange and lemon. Creamy vanilla toffee, dark chocolate and an ashy peat smoke.

Taste: Ashy peat smoke infused with rich port cask fruit leads with a some plum jam, orange, a juicy raisin fruitiness and toffee.

Finish: The luscious port rich fruit infused Kilchoman sweet ashy smoke simply lingers for an age before bowing out and leaving a gentle oak spice.

Comment: A delicious balance of the port cask fruits, toffee and the lovely ashy Kilchoman peat smoke. A real quality juicy port cask at play here. Peat and port doesn't always work but when it does it is delicious and this has worked very well.

SMW Score  89/100

Kilchoman Cognac Cask 737 2016 Review

This Ferrand Cognac cask is one of the first test batches to be filled in 2016. Bottled at 58.4% ABV, non chill filtered and naturally coloured.

William Morrison's Tasting Notes:

Nose: A lovely sweet maltiness, gentle honeycomb toffee, raisin and dried apricot, just a whiff of peat smoke.

Taste: Peppered toffee infused with ashy peat smoke, raisin, orange citrus, vanilla and oak spice, some late cocoa. There is still has a wee touch of spiritiness about it.

Finish: The fruit leaves fist leaving some gentle ashy peat, burnt sugar and mildly drying peppery oak spice.

Comment:  You very rarely see cognac casks being used to even finish Scotch whisky never mind fully mature it, so this really is a experimental cask and it has worked well, it is still a young and it shows a little but still very enjoyable. The peat was hidden somewhat o the nose but it certainly made itself know on the palate

SMW Score  80/100

Kilchoman STR Cask 207 2018 Review

Matured in a STR (Shaved, Toasted and Re-charred) Red Wine cask. This specific cask type is very uncommon. Bottled at 61.5% ABV, non chill filtered and naturally coloured.

William Morrison's Tasting Notes:

Nose: A fresh fruity nose with damson jam and raisins, some vanilla, toffee and spice and just a gentle whiff of ashy peat smoke.

Taste: A balance of gentle ashy peat smoke, toffee, honey and some lovely sweet summer berry fruits all with a delicious spicy edge.

Finish: Longish, the ashy peat and fruits fade to leave some oak spiced and slightly floral honey and a wee touch of liquorice.

Comment:  The gentle red wine cask influence balances very well with Kilchoman's peat to make for a very flavoursome experience and the bottling strength simply adds to that experience. This is still very young, but I wonder just how good this could be in a few more years.

SMW Score  86/100

The Kilchoman Fis le 2021 bottling and virtual tasting packs will only be available from the Kilchoman website but don't hang around or you may miss out.

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