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Kilchoman Sauternes Cask Matured (2016, OB, 50%)

The young Islay’s farm distillery has been nimbly riding through the fields of its early life, with a clear and savage style. Since a few years they started experimenting with wood, filling unconventional casks with their heavily peated spirit. The most perceptive folks out there may remember a 2015 Port full maturation release, while 2016 gives us a new bottling, limited to 6000 bottles, matured for more than 5 years in ex-Chateau d’Yquem casks – if you never heard of Cd’Y, bad for you: it’s possibly the most prestigious Sauternes, so please get back studying (or just stop caring about our bullshit and drink).

kilchomansauternesreal

N: glazed cereals, orange liqueur, a nice apricot tart with a buttery shortcrust just out of the oven. Here you can already understand it’s not a whisky made of nuances but of solid confidence (wait, what?). If we add the distillery’s hallmark (we’re talking about a deep, chemical smokiness) here you have an extreme nose, where the robust intake of the cask crashes its waves against the characterful spirit of Kilchoman.

P: full bodied. The apricots take the main stage, between butter and honey. Resin, eucalyptus and a weird (but very nice) hint of salted hazelnuts and caramel (did someone say Snickers?). Ink. The smokiness seems – incredibile dictu – a bit stopped by the Sauternes’ “bus parked in front of the goal” (ah, Jose, how we miss you here in Milan).

F: the last sentence (nope, not the one about Mourinho  – which is true, but hey, you got what we mean, right?) finds confirmation in the finish, not too long, with only a hint of peat and a liquorous sweetness.


Amongst the “unconventional” maturations, those in Sauternes wood are the ones that we tend to like the most: it brings roundness and add pleasure without completely cracking the original spirit. This limited release by Kilchoman sounds like a succesful experiment, with the usual winey contribution dancing with the massive peat. The dance is similar to the techno-viking’s one, and the effect, even if pleasant, is really monolithical… Our vote will be 85/100.

Recommended soundtrack: All About That Bass – Postmodern Jukebox 

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