Kilchoman have launched the latest instalment of their 100% Islay range. Released in limited runs annually, the 100% Islay range is Kilchoman’s only expression which is distilled solely from barley grown and malted at the distillery.
This, the 8thEdition, is a vatting of 23 bourbon barrels and 7 oloroso sherry butts filled between 2008 and 2012, bottled at 50% ABV. A total of 12,000 bottles have been released worldwide, hitting shelves from the 10thSeptember.
The 8thEdition 100% Islay can trace its origins to the fertile soil of the Kilchoman barley fields. It was here that the distillery harvested Optic barley between 2007 and 2011. Once harvested the barley was hand malted, peated and distilled before being matured in a combination of bourbon and sherry casks. The combination of cask types allowing for an elegant balance of rich spices, citrus sweetness and earthy peat smoke. The 8thEdition 100% Islay was born, bottled on site without colouring or chill-filtration, standing alone as Islay’s only Single Farm Single Malt, 100% Islay – from barley to bottle.
Though the name might suggest a heavier peating level than Kilchoman’s standard 50ppm offerings, the 100% Islay range is in fact peated to a lower level of roughly 20ppm though this is not an exact measurement given the small batches and old-style techniques make it almost impossible to peat each batch to exactly the same level.
The key difference between this and previous batches of the 100% Islay is the addition of sherry cask maturation. The seven oloroso sherry casks included in the vatting give the whisky added depth and richness compared to previous editions.
Anthony Wills Kilchoman Founder and MD, “The 100% Islay range was the reason we built Kilchoman, we wanted to take whisky-making back to the grass root traditions of the industry where we had the ability to influence each stage of the process to maximise the character of our whisky. Part of that is barley; how it’s grown, malted and peated, part of that is slow steady hand distillation and part of it is casks; filling casks that pair well with your spirit and selecting the right balance of casks when they reach maturity. Great whiskies are not a result of a single part of the process, they’re the outcome of time and passion invested at every stage of the process”
Kilchoman 100% Islay 8thEdition is bottled at 50% ABV and will be available worldwide from the 10thof September priced at £82.50 per bottle.
Tasting Notes: Kilchoman 100% Islay 8thEdition
Colour: Burnished gold
Nose: Fresh, light citrus notes with a hint of caramel and sherry sweetness
Palate: A lovely balance of fresh fruit, spice and cinnamon with soft lingering peat smoke.
Finish: Well balanced with a long clean finish.