Kilchoman 2008 Review

Country: Scotland
Region: Islay
Brand: Kilchoman 2008
Type: Single Malt Whisky 
Age: 5 Years 
ABV: 61.7 %
Date: 23/01/2014

Colour: Light Gold

Nose: Meaty & Peaty, Salt & Pepa! You have to find your way around the strong Alcohol of course. I find Cured Meat, light Iodine, Campfire Smoke, Ashes, light Tar, a Sea Breeze, Lemon, Sweet Barley, Butter, light Vanilla, Mint and a hint of Milk Chocolate. 

Palate: Young Earthy & Dirty Peat, Ashes, Licorice, Pepper, Salt, light Vanilla, Toffee, Red Fruit, Oat Meal, Grapefruit and a sprinkle of Lemon.

Finish: Middle-Long, slightly Sour and Herbal with Ashes, BBQ Smoke, light Vanilla, Oat Meal, Pepper and Nutmeg. Quite Dry in the end.

I added a bit of Water and while the Aroma and Flavour profile does not change significantly, the lower ABV allows you to better enjoy this Kilchoman. So in this case I advise you to add a few drops before tasting. 

Rating: 84.5

Nose: 21 - Taste: 21.5 - Finish: 21 - Overall: 21

General Remarks: Kilchoman is the newest (farm) Distillery on Islay. Around 30% of the yearly Barley necessity is produced on the farm. The rest comes from Port Ellen. It is located on the West Coast and was founded by Anthony Wills in 2005. The Kilchoman 2008 I'm tasting today is a Single Cask release especially for Whisky Import The Netherlands. It was distilled on the 24th of April 2004, matured for 5 years in an Ex-Bourbon Cask # 192/2008 and was bottled at Cask Strength on the 29th of April 2013. This Kilchoman is naturally coloured and not Chill-Filtered. It's still available at Whiskybase Rotterdam and costs around 115 US Dollars. 

Drinking Experience Neat: Good

Conclusion: Very young Islay with lots of Dirty Peat, Smoke & Ashes, Herbs and Pepper. It's not bad though. If you like Ardbeg and/or Laphroaig 10 Years, you might want to try this Kilchoman. This distillery has a great future, at least in my opinion. If they can keep up the good work of course. The 2008 is not at all a complicated Single Malt and the ABV of over 60% is too high in my opinion. But it's a rewarding tasting experiment nevertheless. Like having a plate of peated Oat Meal, sprinkled with Pepper, Salt and Ashes. Cheers!

Jan van den Ende                                                            January 2014


Anonymous said...

Dear Jan,
we agree on this distillery: It surely will have a great future and I am really looking forward to getting some 10 or 12 years old... This one seems to be very nice. It reminds me a bit of a version that was bottled for a whisky fair here in Berlin Germany (, but that was a sherry cask, so the profile was of course a little different compared to the Bourbon cask version you reviewed here: It was a Kilchoman 2007/13, Sherrycask, 59,6%.

Best regards,

Jan van den Ende said...

Hi Bjorn, thanks for commenting. Really appreciated. I'm going to visit Kilchoman (and Islay in general) in May and I'm really looking forward to tasting some of their expressions. Will try to find one that matured in Serry Casks too!

Anonymous said...

Dear Jan,

That surely will be a great journey and I wish you lots of fun and precious whisky moments. I am already looking forward to read you reviews and reports from that trip.

I was in Scotland and on Islay in 2012. This was just a beautiful journey with a lot of hiking and whisky, of course. Actually this journey really turned me into a "malt head". I am sure that you will enjoy your trip a Scotland is a beautiful country which has a lot to offer.

I recommend you to try and get a “warehouse tasting” at Lagavulin on Islay, this was a very special event: Iain McArthur himself offered us several generous drams from 5 different casks – some of them real old ones…You will get a timetable of the various tours through the distilleries on the Islay Fairy as the time tables on the distielleries’ websites often are not correct. Furthermore you should check with your hotel or B&B-host they might also be able to arrange distillery visits for you as it is advisable to have an appointment due to the many visitors coming to the distilleries. And then another recommendation: The former manager of Ardbeg and his wife are running a B&B in Port Ellen:

Best regards,

Jan van den Ende said...

Thanks a lot for the tips Bjorn! I'm sure it will be a great time! And I certainly will write about it!