God, these titles get decidedly worse, but with Kilchoman, they just write themselves!
There's something about late summer that always gets me in a slightly melancholic mood. One can usually expect a few really great weekends of sunshine, but you kind of know that lurking in the background is the rain - waiting to dampen your spirits and signal the start of the rest of the year.
This week has been dreadful weather in London. One moment sunshine, the next... torrential rain. What is a chap to wear? My usual brogues are now sodden, after an ill-fated walk down Oxford Street, prompting me to have to buy the world's most useless umbrella.
As I have written on here before, I purchased a rather fine wooden handled umbrella from a very reputable shop, but it is currently being repaired and out of desperation, I had to purchase a £7 'tourist special' from a vender selling joke Police helmets, 'I Heart London' t-shirts and postcards plastered with comedy London 'themed' breasts. Highly tasteful stuff as i'm sure you can imagine.
Once unfurled, the umbrella lasted for exactly 5 minutes and 23 seconds, before someone bumped into it, leaving one pathetic half hanging down limply, dripping water into my bag of whisky samples. It would have actually been cheaper to hail a taxi to take me to my destination.
Anyway, moaning aside, one of the samples (whose label was sadly turned to an inky mush by the rain) was Kilchoman's brand new Summer Release. Earlier this week, we reviewed a rather unexpected single cask bottling of Kilchoman, which was excellent. So it was all the more timely that we received their big release, just before the summer was well and truly lost for another year.
A hot summer's day triumph on the Cote d' Azur.... or a wet weekend in Prestatyn? Let's find out...
Kilchoman - Summer Release - 46 %
Nose: Banana milkshake, wet leaves/humid forest notes, tinned fruit cocktail sweetness and some sherbet. With a hint of water, some malty/gristy notes develop.
Palate: Burnt bonfire peat, charcoal notes, very decisive but not too dominating. With a little hint of water, the palate really opens up with some orchard fruit pie, tablet toffee and peppery BBQ steak.
Finish: Quite fatty/oily and very rich. The bonfire peat starts to develop a more peppery note as the palate dries.
Overall: It's official. Kilchoman keep turning out really well made whisky. Apparently, this release is Anthony Wills' favourite so far. It of course bears many similarities with the previous releases, but what is abundantly clear is that the whisky is starting to develop an undoubted distillery character, fitting in perfectly next to the other more established peated monsters. It isn't medicinal, it isn't highly phenolic, but it has a wonderful balanced smoke and as a result, simply cannot be ignored. Keep 'em 'choman guys!!