It's no secret that we're big fans of Kilchoman distillery here at K&L. Our recent visit to the distillery on Islay really opened our eyes to the incredible job they're doing. Kilchoman is a tiny operation, producing on one still and malting whatever they can inside their humble barn. Because of their small scale, cost of production is higher and prices for their whisky have not been inexpensive. But having tasted the new-make spirit right off the still, I can firmly say that, in my opinion, there is no higher quality peated whisky being produced anywhere else. Kilchoman's hands-on style and attention to detail make a world of difference. Every release has been better than the last, albeit extremely limited in supply. All that said, this small farm is finally introducing a full-time, affordable house recipe, rather than another pricey single-barrel release. The Machir Bay is not only incredibly delicious, it's a huge victory for a distillery that had to overcome huge obstacles. At $54, this is what Kilchoman fans have been waiting for: incredibly delicate, finely-tuned flavors of soft smoke, sea salt, creamy vanilla and butterscotch. It's a more subdued version of their high-toned barrel expressions, but it's still very much Kilchoman. Think Bruichladdich meets Lagavulin. Think possible best whisky value from Islay. (David Driscoll, K&L Spirits Buyer)
By: Cody Roderick
K&L Staff Member
As an avid fan of Islay whisky, I was thrilled with the quality and value of this bottle. Although a young whisky, this still delivers the characteristics you would expect from the region ranging from peat to the natural elements of the island. It has an extraordinarily soft mouth feel along with a smooth and delicate finish despite delivering the initial smoke and brine flavor. This would be a great introductory bottle for those considering a move into the world of Islay.
By: David Othenin-Girard
K&L Staff Member
Many are aware of our affection for this wonderful new distillery on Islay. This, being their entry level product, deserves to be a benchmark. If nothing else it should provide a wonderful education for any Islay lover. What happens when you put Ardbeg spec barley into steel fermenters and Kilchoman's tall little still? Add an ultra fine heart cut and a thoughtful wood management program and you've got truly soulful whisky that's still Islay in every way. Proof positive that great whisky need not be old. Zesty and full of oceany brine, the peat at this age stands up and smacks you right across the face. Sweet malt and mild rancio notes whisper in, but one does not forget the rugged shoreline just below the farm where this whisky was distilled. A pleasure, to say the least.
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