The strong peat is very present in the nosing, but it comes with sweet notes and flatters the sense of smell. This is a lovely peat smoke for a summer edition that, even when tasted in winter, carries the warm tones of the harvested barley fields at Rockside Farm on a warm day on Islay. There is fresh grain, dry straw and warm earth. The wind from the sea blows gently and brings faint salt aromas. A few ripe peaches and scones are ready for an afternoon snack.
The taste is significantly stronger and drier than in the nosing. The alcohol is strong and water is good. The smoke aromas occupy the mouth and the sweetness from the aroma is no longer noticeable on the tongue. Astringent, dry aromas predominate here. There are unripe fruits that are hard with bitter notes - but still tasty. And then there is a tart, dark nut chocolate with heavily roasted hazelnuts. All of this is no longer flattering, but underscores the maritime character of a Hebridean island whose moments of sunshine are fleeting.
Ashy-earthy smoke with straw and nuts remains on the palate. Plus flavors from a wonderful fruit scone and strawberry jam eaten some time ago with a cup of dark tea.
This is indeed uniquely Islay with a very special smoke and beautiful aromas. Is there a noticeable Armagnac character? I don't know, at least it doesn't dominate and the woody aromas combine well with the smoke and whisky. Dry, smoky, spicy and strong - a delicious Kilchome. It's a shame, such a whisky would be fairly priced at €90...