Whisky Advocate Award: Islay Single Malt of the YearDecember 19th, 2013
Kilchoman 2007, 46%, $80
This was a strong year—again—for Islay, with every distillery releasing sublime single malts, which made this decision an incredibly hard one. It ultimately came down to a choice between Bowmore’s The Devil’s Casks, a mentally wonderful sherried 10 year old which must now become a regular release (please?), and Kilchoman, with the latter shading it.
Why? Because here was a whisky which not only showed the difference between age and maturity, but was the first demonstration of a distillery itself reaching maturity, quicker than anyone might have imagined.
Single malt is all about distillery character and here you can see what Kilchoman’s is. In this expression you get full integration between oak and distillery, a sparkling mix of seashell, the freshness of seaweed, mixed with churned butter, driftwood, and fresh-kilned peat. On the tongue, there’s samphire, peat, sweet barley, and an herbal kick. The great thing is that there is clearly still more to come. Kilchoman has truly arrived. Buckle up, this is going to be some ride. — Dave Broom
Close to the end, with only four more awards left; tomorrow is the Highland Single Malt of the Year.