Tasting: Kilchoman Feis Ile 2015 bottling

Kilchoman Feis Ile 2015 bottlingDram data:
Distillery: Kilchoman
Bottler: original bottling
Distilled: 22.05.2008
Bottled: 22.05.2015
Age: 7
Limitation: 742 bottles
Cask: 3 bourbon barrels 245, 449, 450
Alcohol: 58,2%
unchillfiltered; natural colour
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
light gold
The nose (neat) opens with the typical, phenolic, slightly medicinal Islay peat smoke paired with brine. Despite the strong alcohol and the still relatively young age (but quite old for a Kilchoman) there are already some mellow vanilla notes paired with sweet cookies and citrus peeking through – growing stronger as the nose adjust itself to the smoke. With water: A pronounced malty sweetness appears, Demerara sugar, sweet wholegrain cookies, orange oil and zest, vanilla pods, white pepper and eucalyptus. Oh, and phenolic peat smoke, but a bit more on the floral side without being flowery/perfumy. The palate (diluted) starts off a bit strong on the alcohol which fades to a peat smoke infused malty sweetness. Coating the teeth in an oily layer of smoke. I’m a bit (pleasantly) surprised to find beeswax – now where’s that coming from? There are also notes of citrus, grapefruit (with peel and bits), and ginger candy sticks. The long finish is quite strong upon swallowing, mellowing down to a malty sweet, smoky combination with the smoke lingering pleasantly for a long time .

Well, this 7-year-old Feis Ile 2015 bottling, a vatting of three fresh bourbon barrels, is pretty easy to describe: A very typical young, strong, smoky, intense Islay malt with a very nice malty sweetness. Nope, it’s not the most complex dram, nope, it’s not the most complex Kilchoman I’ve ever had and nope, it doesn’t win a medal for price/performance (but which Feis Ile bottling does?). Still, it is a very good, young, well-made Islay malt and, having a sweet spot for this charming distillery, I’m happy I bought a bottle while at the festival this year.

Score: 87/100
(Nose: 86 Palate: 87 Finish: 87)

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