Whisky Focus - Kilchoman Loch Gorm Review

Kilchoman Loch Gorm

29th April  2013
Loch Gorm a new limited edition from Kilchoman.

Islay’s independent farm distillery, Kilchoman, has added a new whisky to its award winning Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky range, Loch Gorm.

Named after the famously peaty loch near the distillery, the Kilchoman Loch Gorm is the name for what will be an ongoing series of sherry cask matured whisky from Kilchoman.

This first release of Kilchoman Loch Gorm in the series is a 5 year old whisky which has been matured in Oloroso sherry butts and finished in Oloroso sherry hogsheads for a further six weeks. This new expression adds a new dimension to Kilchoman’s portfolio of whisky, bringing depth of colour and fresh character to the Islay Single Malt. Bottled at 46% ABV, non chill-filtered and with no added colouring, just as we like it.

The ongoing Loch Gorm series will be the only sherry cask matured release from Kilchoman and having tasted it I predict this will be a very popular expression when it comes of age and with only 10,000 bottles of the inaugural 5 year old bottling available worldwide which is not a lot for each country so it is expected to sell quickly.

Anthony Wills, Managing Director of Kilchoman, said: "Over the years we have released a limited number of sherry-matured Kilchoman bottlings, all of which proved very popular with our customers. Loch Gorm shows wonderful balance between the peat smoke and spicy rich flavours, typical of sherry cask maturation."

As with the two other series of whiskies in Kilchoman’s portfolio, Machir Bay and 100% Islay, a new bottling of Loch Gorm will be periodically released as the whisky matures, with each bottling differentiated by distillation and bottling years printed on the label.

Founded in 2005, Kilchoman is one of the smallest distilleries in Scotland and the first distillery to be built on Islay for 125 years. A working farm distillery, it is one of only a handful of distilleries still practicing floor malting. Kilchoman also grows its own barley, and completes all parts of the production process, from barley to bottling on the island.

Kilchoman Loch Gorm is now available from The Whisky Exchange, priced at £56.95

Kilchoman Loch Gorm Tasting Notes

William Morrison's Tasting Notes:

Colour: A deep natural copper colour from the sherry casks, no fake tans here.

Nose: Lovely enticing light medicinal peat smoke, some toffee and attractive rich grape and touch of spice.

Taste: Initially mild burnt medicinal earthy peat smoke coated in a sweet rich sherry fruitiness then the youthful oaky spiciness. Still a bit of feinty character in there.

Finish: A long finish. Mild peat smoke and mildly drying sweet sherry slowly fading leaving a lovely lingering youthful oaky spiciness.

Comment: This is the latest limited release on Kilchoman's road to maturity, it is still a little young with some feinty character as you would expect at 5 years old but it is a very promising indication of the quality we can hope to see in the future. Even at this young age the well balanced Kilchoman peat and the sherry make very compatible bed fellows and I would guess that in another 5 years or so the likes of Ardbeg Uigeadail and Lagavulin Distillers Edition will have a very serious competitor for your money. I wonder how much of the the whisky produced at Kilchoman is maturing in sherry butts, a good percentage I hope.

When Kilchoman whisky does come of age in the not too distant future and if it is as popular as I think it will be a bottle of this first release of Loch Gorm just may be considered quite collectable, if not you have nothing to lose as it is a cracking young peaty sherried Islay whisky so you could just simply drink it.

Hopefully I will be adding at least another 5 points to this score in a few years time!

SMW Score 87/100

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