...and it is the best Kilchoman I had so far what promises a lot for the older bottlings yet to come! The neat dram is very Lagavulin-alike but after some reduction it offers a fine and delicious distinct Kilchoman style (Traditional Scotch) that I like. Kilchoman fans will adore this release, for sure...
The colour is old gold and the nose offers a profile that reminds me of some of the latest Lagavulin special releases (Feis Ile and Jazz Festival) which is a compliment. Actually, in a blind tasting I would have bet half of my a.. that this is a Lagavulin! Was this intentional or by incident? Finally, I do not care - this is a very clean distillate without any flaw or off-note and I like it... Some water turns the nose punchier but a further reduction releases some additional fine aromas - I like it both neat and reduced to about 40% abv.
The taste is Lagavulin-ish too with a fine combo of bitter-peaty and sugary-sweet flavours but it lacks a little the complexity Lagavulin usually offers. Do not get me wrong, this is a very fine and enjoyable tasting profile but if you copy Lagavulin you have to accept to be measured by Lagavulin standards. I guess, Kilchoman fans will like this bottling very much - and I like it better than all Kilchoman releases I tried before. Water smoothes both the taste and finish and turns the dram more into a distinct Kilchoman profile what is good for additional two points in my score.
The whisky arrives a little hot and nicely coating in the mouth with a minor but enjoyable drying feeling from the tannins. The finish is long and adds more sweet barley sugary flavours that balance the rather bitter-peaty taste in a nice way. By the way, the finish is no longer a Lagavulin-alike but shows a distinct Kilchoman style even with the neat dram (what I like more)...