Dear readers, I’d like to introduce you to the new kid in town: Kilchoman.
Kilchoman is Islay’s newest/youngest distillery with whiskies currently no older than 3 years of age. Their style is similar to that of the heavier/smokier/peatier whiskies that come from Islay. It’s actually the first distillery to be built on Islay in 124 years or so. Also, the folks at Kilchoman grow their own barley (the distillery is set on a farm, by the by…) as well as malt their own barely in the tradition floor malting way.
So, what do we have today? Two whiskies. Both single casks. Both cask strength. One is from Binny’s out of Chicago then other is from Royal Mile Whiskies out of the UK. A big thanks goes out to David H. for the sample. You may remember David from his guest post many months back regarding his trip to Scotland.
Binny’s Single Cask (ex-bourbon) – 61.1%ABV
On the nose — A one-two-three combination punch of heat and soot and lemons. This whisky is going to put up a fight. Cool, cool.
Let’s see what you got, punk!
Wet cardboard? What? You got more?
Oh, some interesting notes of sassafras and even a bit of agave. Braggart!
Banana peels, pie crusts and green apples. Hmpf, now you’re just showing off. Let give you a taste.
On the mouth — Whoa, hot-head… slow down! This is our first date! Don’t make me tame you with water. I will and don’t think I won’t. I put you into this glass, I can drink you out!
Let’s start again.
Oh, you’re just a sweetie at heart aren’t you? I’m tasting sugared lemon hard candies and some salted butter cookies.
Listen, you’re from Scotland, not the tropics… put the toasted coconut shreds away, will you?
Finish — You’re medium in length (you are only three after all, nothing to be ashamed of) but you offer up a nice bit of pepper in the finish.
Well met. Well met. Good form!
Royal Mile Whiskies (ex-bourbon) 61.7%ABV
On the nose — Ok, you wanna start some $#!+ too? Let’s see what you’re made of, whipper-snapper!
Oh, you’re a bit of a softy. Nothing like you’re punk-ass brother.
Melted butter and perhaps a few notes of chocolate fudge.
Also, no offense but, you’re a nut! Walnut to be exact…
You’re peaty, just like your brother but you also wreak of wax and green olives.
On the mouth — What in the world am I tasting here? You’re a bit of a shape shifter.
Soot and tea and sweet powdered candies (pixie six and fun dip).
Marmalade & toast, you’re trying to butter me up now, aren’t you?
Finish — Smarties. Medium length and sugary.
In sum — This was a fight to the finish. Aside from me, I have to say that the Royal Mile Whiskies single cask was easily the victor here. A whisky that seems to be mature beyond it’s mere three year life span.
Each whisky is nice in it’s own way but I wish I had a full bottle of the Royal Mile Whiskies one… Both of these will put a spring in your step and give you the energy you need to face the cold winter!
As an aside, after I wrote this post up I realized that Jeff at Scotchhobbyist.com had already done a Kilchoman vs. Kilchoman post (albeit two different ones than I just did). His post and tasting notes are fantastic, be sure to check his review out!