Since arriving back at Caskstrength towers last night, I've found the hallowed halls a tad drafty after the near stifling conditions that seem to come hand in hand with one's parental homes. I recently found out that incredibly, my parents keep the heating on in bloody July! It was like a sauna in December, lord knows how anything survives during the summer...
So after apologising for this shameful display of global-warming-neglect i'm going to turn the thermostat down a notch and huddle up under a blanket with two wonderful presents I received to even things up.
Firstly, as most of you know, both Joel and I are huge Alan Partridge fans; so much so that we once endeavoured to have a back-to-back Partridge'athon with all three TV series, plus the wonderful bite-sized selection of Mid-Morning Matters episodes courtesy of the Fosters Lager comedy shorts.
Mrs Caskstrength bought me the 'autobiography' of the great man to read over Christmas and so far, I haven't been able to put it down, save for eating another plate of turkey meat or sweatily removing my new Christmas jumper because of the heating. If you're not familiar with Partridge, you must from a foreign land, or just plain idiotic. If either applies, here's a video to help realise his comedy genius:
And to wash down this finely made trifle of comedy a dram of something equally tasty: the new Elements Of Islay 'Kh1' (or Kilchoman for those who don't speak Periodic.)
Speciality Drinks have really taken the whole Periodic Table idea to heart and the last few bottlings we tried (the Port Ellen PE2 and 3 and Lagavulin LG2) have really demonstrated an unbridled coastal Islay at its very best. Here's hoping that this Kilchoman will also demonstrate how elemental these whiskies are.
Elements Of Islay - Kh1 - 59.7%
Nose: Big butterscotch/toffee and milk chocolate notes hit first, with a blast of briny peat thrown in to counteract the sweetness. Some turned earth, hazelnut shells and white pepper develop over time and with a dash of water, a more medicinal peat emerges.
Palate: Wow, hot and youthful. The peat is fearless in its attack and a charcoal-like BBQ meatiness coats the palate. More smoked meat and iodine round out the coastal assault. Water brings it down a peg or two, giving some residual sweetness and a return of the pepper, but personally speaking I prefer the bold (and elemental approach) so without water it is for me!
Finish: Very peppery, with a touch of dried oak, some more of the heavily smoked meat and a lingering TCP lozenge on the death.
Overall: Although this is no doubt a young whisky, it is undeniably as Islay as it gets; fiery, bursting with peat and full of palate-grabbing energy. It won't suit every one, (post-christmas richness) but sometimes you just need something to get things started - and in the wise words of AP, is 'back of the net'.