On Wednesday we tested Machir Bay from this year: today, keeping Kilchoman in the glass, we try Loch Gorm, that is a 5 years old (distillate 2010, bottled 2015), fully matured in ex-sherry butts. And we know very well that Kilchoman and sherry can give explosive outcomes…
N: if Machir Bay was a thick blanket, this is a lash. The sherry casks influence is decisive: marine and salty at the top, of course; and a certain intense fishy note is here, too. But there are fascinating worlds to discover, like chestnut, orange (also orange peel, almost overripe), chocolate gianduia, tamarind; then licorice, caramel, orange liqueur. And then, the main actor: mesdames et messieurs, Mister Tar. A marron glacé sitting in front of the fireplace.
P: unlike the Machir Bay, it has no evolution and remains constant: but, as they say, no news good news. There is indeed a majestic sweet & salty wall: it is in fact very marine, iodine, although the real added value lies in this beautiful smooth sweetness, made with ripe oranges, caramel, dried figs; sugar cane, marron glacé. All these things are wrapped in a cloud of smog: burnt wood and so much tarry peat.
F: again we have a huge sherry influence, together with a road surface of tar of unprecedented ferocity.
We can say it: the girl is growing well. The first releases of Kilchoman, excluding some single casks, did not persuade us deeply; they seemed to show a certain immaturity, exhibiting youth without covering it – and our evaluations were good but not great. It was just our thought, mind you, with all that this entails: however, in the last two years the average quality has been constantly increasing, and perhaps this Loch Gorm represents the peak of the core range right now: 90/100, for a very good, balanced and mature whisky.
Recommended soundtrack: Deafheaven – Brought to the water.