I expected it - and thank God it arrived: I really like this Kilchoman. The smoke, the delicate sulfur, the flavor, the ideal drinking strength result in a 91-point pleasure for me. Only in the finish is there a hint of metallic youth to be felt. All in all, simply an uncomplicated, intense Islay malt.
I hardly notice the 70% sherry barrels; As I briefly mentioned, the flavors appear in the apricot and the fine nuttiness. And perhaps the extensive Armagnac enjoyment has pushed the threshold of perception for "dark fruit" a good bit further "into the dark". For me, the ex-bourbon barrel flavors dominate this Kilchoman. And I can very well understand the "typical cold campfire smoke" mentioned by Archer.
A very nice smoky note floats from the glass, followed by light grapes and vanilla. Very light sulfur, intense herbs with marjoram and thyme. Some forest honey. With the passage of time in the glass from a distance also ripe apricot. "Smoked ham" - that's actually pretty good. The 70% ex-Oloroso barrel share is only shown by a nice nutty note; otherwise the "smoky ex-bourbon barrel" dominates in my opinion.
Beautifully smoky, delicately sulphurous and with intense ex-bourbon barrel aromas, the Sanaig unfolds in the mouth. The flavor becomes more intense, the oak more noticeable, but everything is in perfect balance. In addition to vanilla and juicy grapes, the apricot also flashes on the palate and provides an exciting fruity-smoky-spicy interplay with fine nuttiness. The 46% fit perfectly; I already knew that as a Pulteney friend and as a Laberdolive connoisseur it is also clear to you. I digress.
The finish remains naturally committed to the spicy and smoky characteristics. And the oak is once again becoming more dominant. Even very slightly metallic accents can be felt. The malt remains present and in a fundamentally pleasant way, because the bourbon barrel fruit with a little nut also characterizes the finish.