Regular readers may have been forgiven for thinking that I'd stopped buying whisky since the summer, but nothing could be further from the truth. I've been very fortunate with a big birthday and generous friends spoiling me. So much so that the house is beginning to expand at the sheer number of arrivals. There is a definite queue to deal with, formed in an orderly fashion. First up is the exclusive single cask release that I tasted and enjoyed at the recent Whisky Fringe 2013 event.
It seems I was not alone in enjoying this whisky as the event plays host to hundreds of different drams from across the world. Attendees have the opportunity to vote for their favourites and amongst a vast field, this Kilchoman finished in 9th place overall. An excellent result; even more so given its young age.
A discussion I enjoyed with a master blender recently led onto the topic of casks and whisky age statements. In his opinion a quality cask is paramount and gives a younger whisky more dynamic characteristics than an older version, maturing in an average cask. This viewpoint is somewhat supported by the whisky coming out of Islay's Farm Distillery Kilchoman. My tasting experiences have shown a whisky hitting beyond it's young age and tantilising us with what may be in store once it matures further.
Of course Kilchoman distillery do everything in house which also means they can keep control of all aspects and release when they are ready. This particular edition is an exclusive to Edinburgh retailer Royal Mile Whiskies.
I haven't opened it yet, really I am trying to whittle down what bottles I have open before adding to the sipping shelf. I should ideally start a Fife whisky tasting night to assist with this! Meanwhile what I do recall from my notes at the Whisky Fringe is that despite the 60.4% cask strength it was surprisingly drinkable straight with a maturity that prompted it's inclusion on my whisky hit list. For such a new distillery there are a surprising number of single cask releases and editions on an annual basis. Just as I write this piece the next Kilchoman distillery edition will be 10,000 bottles, which is a huge release for them. I feel the single cask releases offer better value for money and set a benchmark on how Kilchoman is progressing.
I had a chat with someone from Royal Mile Whiskies about this release which has been selling well. Apparently there aren't too many bottles left and they've done some really interesting exclusives of late including a Tomatin that I will pick up sometime soon. I always try to find out what's on the cards and nothing is on the radar for 2013 however it wouldn't be a surprise if something did appear in the run up to Christmas.
Age: 4 years
Distilled: 12 September 2008
Bottled: 25 June 2013
Limited Edition of: 262 bottles
Cask: Bourbon cask
Labels: islay, kilchoman, new arrival, royal mile whiskies, single cask, whisky, whiskyrover.co.uk, whiskyrover.eu