Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Whisky Discovery #451

Kilchoman 2007 Single Cask (60.9% abv)
Islay Single Malt Whisky
Sadly No Longer Available

I came across this discovery via #TheDramOGram,  the follow-up to our #12Blends Tweet Tasting hosted by Tom Thomson of Toms Whisky Reviews. Whilst the 12 blends was immensely entertaining it was very time consuming and seemed to take up almost all of my spare time over the first 12 days of April this year.
#TheDramOGram was a similar blind tasting event, but this time each of the participants were required to send a single dram to their chosen recipient, while receiving just the one blind dram. All notes and guesses were to be tweeted on the day/evening/night of 31st May. Unfortunately it didn't quite happen with the 'togetherness' of the 12 Blends, and so while I thoroughly enjoyed my blind dram from +Gal Granov I didn't feel the connection we all had when we were all tasting the same whisky at the same time.

I made myself a tasting mat and posted the photo above on Twitter at the start of my tasting. As I made my mental notes I decided to scribble them onto the tasting mat, so I could post a' before' and 'after' photo while I tweeted my notes to Gal.

So What Did I Think?
The finished tasting mat - complete with scribbled notes, wild guesses and an empty glass
From the instant I opened the bottles I was very happy The medicinal Islay peat nose is a particular favourite of mine and it was immediately reminding me of SMWS 127.31 'Right of Passage' a dram tried at the London lounge just before we left for Whisky Live

On opening the bottle I thought could this be Ardbeg? (mostly because Ardbog Day was the following day) but this was way peatier! With my first sip, I was thinking that there couldn't be much more peat left in Islay with the levels in this dram. It was hitting all the right spots for me.

I thought I would try to determine the abv while scribbling my notes, but thought it might be difficult with the peat levels so dominating. I wasn't sure if it was the alcohol burn or the peat smouldering in my mouth That I was experiencing. I'd recently learnt of the 'bubble test' and by comparing that with other samples on the shelf this was putting it at around 45-46% abv yet my mouth was saying 60%!
  • Nose:  Intense peat at first, earthy; stable straw, bracken, heaps of pepper, maritime notes; salty with some hemp rope. Recharging the glass I was getting spent coffee grounds too. With water, the first few drops enhance the earthy notes. Some sweetness trying to punch through the pepper.
  • Taste: Initial sweet hit turns salty immediately followed by intense pepper which fades to peat smoke. With water the sweetness found neat lingers a little longer, the peppery spice is not so fierce, but over all a very similar profile.
  • Finish: Is very long with peppery peat smoke, lightly salted with charcoal.
With SMWS 127.31 'Right of Passage' the 10 Year Old Port Charlotte (bottled at 64.2% abv) on my mind I was torn between an Ardbeg and a Port Charlotte, and my wild guess was Port Charlotte PC8 an 8 Year Old bottled at 60.5% abv - it fitted with my thoughts

The reveal was a pleasant surprise. Although I was checking out Kilchoman releases on one of the well known whisky retailer websites I had dismissed them for the Port Charlotte. I must get some Kilchoman on my whisky shelf soon!

Slàinte! Dave

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