Tasting: Kilchoman 5 yo 2009 – 2014 for Whisky Circle Pinzgau

Kilchoman 5 yo 2009 - 2014 for Whisky Circle PinzgauDram data:
Distillery: Kilchoman
Bottler: Bottled for Whisky Circle Pinzgau
Distilled: 05.08.2009
Bottled: 05.08.2014
Age: 5
Limitation: –
Cask: 379/2009 – PX Finish
Alcohol: 59,3%
unchillfiltered; natural colour
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
The nose (neat) opens with a blast of the typical Islay peat smoke note paired with a citrus note I happen to find in most Kilchomans. There’s also Iodine wound disinfectant paired with brine. The smoky, medicinal, citrussy aspect is really strong, overpowering the other aromas at first. After the nose has become used to the Islay onslaught there are also notes of cocoa, caramel, sticky toffee and dried sweet dark fruit puree (a mix of figs, dates, plums and the likes). Very approachable at the same time, no alcoholic numbing of  the nose – and no sulphur either. The palate is quite a bit more fierce than the nose on the arrival, but there’s a smoky-sweet combination lurking underneath after the initial alcohol sting starts to fade. Let’s add a bit of water. Right. Intense smoke, iodine, brine, burning bonfire matched with sweet sherry, dark fruit puree, bitter orange chocolate, vanilla, caramelized ginger sticks, toffee, chocolate cake. Slightly dry, but not overly so, very oily, rich and mouth-coating. The medium long to long finish is quite intense upon swallowing, covering the entire throat with peat smoke and dry fruit sweetness. The fruity aspect is medium long and just fades away after a minute or so whereas the peat smoke lingers and lingers and lingers.

Heavily peated Islay drams and Sherry don’t always match, but I’ve only had one Kilchoman so far where this combination didn’t work – and this was deliberately poured as a “failed experiment” of an overcooked finishing at the Feis Ile warehouse tasting this year.
This is clearly not the case here – a very fine dram, just as I expected it to be, as the guys behind the Whisky Circle Pinzgau only bottle casks they really like for their own pleasure. A big, bold, heavily sherried Kilchoman – no roughness but still youthful, alive and kicking.

Score: 88/100
(Nose: 87 Palate: 89 Finish: 87)

Cheers to Rainer for the sample!

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