Whisky Focus - Kilchoman Fis le 2021 - Through the Ages Tasting Pack Review

Kilchoman Fis le 2021 Through the Ages Tasting Pack Review


8th May 2021
Review of the Kilchoman Fis le 2021 Through the Ages Tasting Pack which you can join Kilchoman to taste live online at 6.00pm on Thursday 3rd June.

Kilchoman Fis le 2021 Through the Ages Tasting Pack - Kilchoman New Make Spirit Port Ellen Malt and Bourbon Casks #04 2016, #293 2011, #645 2006

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 second of those packs is the Kilchoman Through the Ages pack which contains four whiskies which will take you through 15 years of Kilchoman maturation. Starting with Kilchoman's New Make Spirit before following the journey of maturation in ex-bourbon barrels through 2006, 2011 and 2016, this should be a fascinating journey giving you the and insight of how wood and time impact the final character and colour of the Kilchoman whisky over the years.

You can join Kilchoman to taste the Kilchoman DNA pack live at 6.00pm 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 New Make Spirit Port Ellen Malt Review


The Kilchoman new make spirit is the first step in this Kilchoman tasting journey, produced with Port Ellen Malt and has been bottled uninfluenced by oak. Bottled at the usual cask filling strength of 63.5% ABV, non chill filtered and naturally coloured.

William Morrison's Tasting Notes:

Nose: The clear colourless spirit immediately offers up rather prominent sweet peat infused malt and vanilla. Digging deeper there is a little ripe banana, damp moss, orange citrus and some bonfire smoke.

Taste: Powerful sugary sweet peat smoke fills the mouth, it has a slight creamy vanilla feel to it and even at the un-aged strength of 63.5% ABV it has a smoothness to it, a little spiciness, an orange and lemon citrus fruity mix.

Finish: A medium length finish, the sweetness quickly fades leaving a little lingering bonfire smoke, a little orange zest and a touch of spice.

Comment:  You just know something very good and rather tasty is going to come of this spirit after it spends time in some decent oak casks. I would recommend if you haven't tried some new make spirit then seek some out from you favourite whisky distilleries if you can, as it certainly tells you were your whisky comes from, better still grab one of these wee tasting packs from Kilchoman.

SMW New Make Spirit Score:  Shows great potential.
 

Kilchoman Bourbon Cask 04 2016 Review


The second step in this Kilchoman tasting journey this 2016 vintage shows how much character and colour the whisky has taken on after around just five years in a ex Bourbon Cask. Bottled at 59.7% ABV, non chill filtered and naturally coloured.

William Morrison's Tasting Notes:

Nose: A gentle sweet peat smoke and some lovely lemon citrus, a touch of butterscotch.

Taste: Sweet sugared peat, vanilla and butterscotch, a touch of lemon and some oak spice lurking in the background.

Finish: A longish finish, an infusion of vanilla, sweet peat and lemon citrus bow out slowly to leave a touch of mildly drying oak.

Comment:  After around five years in a ex bourbon barrel the spirit has been transformed, it shows a level of maturity more than its 5 years, just the slightest hint of spirit but nowhere near what you would expect at this age. The combination of youth and peat often make for a good whisky and this is a fantastic example of that. a cracking young Kilchoman.

SMW Score  85/100
 

Kilchoman Bourbon Cask 203 2011 Review


The third step in this Kilchoman tasting journey this 2011 vintage shows how much character and colour the whisky has taken on after 10 years in a ex Bourbon Cask. Bottled at 53.2% ABV, non chill filtered and naturally coloured.

William Morrison's Tasting Notes:

Nose: A clean, fresh nose, a lovely balance of vanilla and enticingly gentle sweet peat smoke, a little mild zesty lemon.

Taste: Just what the nose told you was coming, a delicious gentle sweet peat infused with equally gentle vanilla and lemon. a lovely light oak spice.

Finish: Long, the lemon citrus has taken on a sugar boost and now appears a little candied before fading out, the sweet peat smoke and vanilla mellows out alongside it, a little mildly drying oak lingers on to the last.

Comment:  After 10 years in an ex bourbon cask it has been transformed into a top quality, delicious, peated dram with a lovely light fresh, balanced, feel to it. Its 53.2% strength just adds to the taste pleasure.

SMW Score  90/100
 

Kilchoman Bourbon Cask 645 2006 Review


This final step in this Kilchoman journey is something special from one of the very oldest casks at the distillery, it comes from Kilchoman's very limited 2006 maturing stock, just the 14th cask ever to be filled at Kilchoman! After over 15 years maturing in ex Bourbon cask 645 this has been bottled at 53.78% ABV, non chill filtered and naturally coloured.

William Morrison's Tasting Notes:

Nose: A lovely fresh clean nose with a lovely light sweet peat smoke, honey, a little vanilla, some lemon citrus, a touch floral.

Taste: A balance of brown sugared gentle peat smoke, honey, vanilla and zesty lemon, a lovely equally gentle spicy oak with a slightly floral edge. Some late coffee.

Finish: Long, the brown sugared gentle peat now has a little coffee and floral edge, it bows out to leave some mildly drying oak.

Comment:  After 15 years the peat has mellowed somewhat, it has got a little honeyed and it has started to develop a bit of a coffee and floral side. Another very good Kilchoman, but had it peaked, at least for this type of cask maturation at 10 years old.

SMW Score  88/100

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.
 

Kilchoman Fis le 2021 Tasting Packs Reviews


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