Kilchoman 2012 Wine Finish Cask 405 Bottled 2018 Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 10 December 2018
The Kilchoman distillery (pronounced Kil-ho-man) is a distillery that produces single malt Scotch whisky on Islay, an island of the Inner Hebrides. The distillery is situated on the western side of Islay, near the small settlement of Kilchoman. The location made it the most westerly distillery in Scotland, until the Abhainn Dearg Distillery started distilling on the Isle of Lewis.
The distillery began production in June 2005, and was the first to be built on the island of Islay in 124 years.
It is one of only six Scottish distilleries still doing traditional floor-maltings, and will be unique in having all parts of the process – growing barley, malting, distilling, maturing and bottling – carried out on Islay.
The distillery uses barley grown on site at Rockside Farm coming up to 200 tons per year. The distillery uses traditional floor malting which very few distilleries do currently. The barley is soaked in water then laid out on a concrete floor where it is turned by hand. The purpose for this is to germinate the barley which allows for the conversion of starch to fermentable sugars. Peat is used to smoke the germinating barley and this gives the unique smokey flavor and aroma to smokey and peaty whiskies. From there it is mashed and fermented with the fermentation process taking up to 85 hours. Finally it is distilled and matured in oak casks.
The distillery first filled casks on 14 December 2005 and the distillery began bottling 3-year-old single malt in September 2009. Kilchoman has released a 5, 8, and 9 year old bottling and also intends to release 10 and 12 year old bottlings. The whisky will primarily age in bourbon casks, though sherry casks will also be employed. The first official Kilchoman, the “Inaugural release” was released in 2009 and the first 100% Islay whisky released in 2011.
The whisky produced by the Port Ellen maltings are peated to the same levels as Ardbeg, while the malt peated on their own floor maltings will be approximately 25 ppm.
Kilchoman releases several bottlings. The most important ones include:
Machir Bay (46%), first released in 2012 uses a higher proportion of bourbon casks to sherry casks.
Loch Gorm (46%), released since 2012
Sanaig (46%), originally released for the French market – launched worldwide in 2016 and uses a higher proportion of sherry casks to bourbon casks.
100% Islay (50%), this is the grain to glass offering from Kilchoman
Kilchoman 2012 Wine Finish (Cask 405) (56.9%)
Launched in the latter-half of 2017, this Scotch was fully matured in casks that previously held red wine from Douro Valley in Portugal. It was distilled in 2012 and bottled in 2017.
I did a live broadcast of this tasting and you can find the YouTube video here: