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KILCHOMAN ‘COMRAICH’ (2007/2017, OB, 55,5%)

Who’s Comraich? Kilchoman launched a few weeks ago its “sanctuaries” project (that’s the Gaelic word for “sanctuary”): legations of the most rural Islay distillery all over the world. In these carefully selected “Comraichs”, official events are going to be held during the year, the whole range of official bottlings are going to be served and – here’s the point – an exclusive release is going to be tasted: this one. Every year, four bottlings of this series are going to be release, only available in Comraichs. The first one is a vatting of three vintage 2007 casks (two ex-bourbon, one ex-Oloroso sherry): it’s a limited edition of 1019 bottles and it’s almost 10 yo (the ex-sherry cask is 9 years and 10 months old). There are three Comraichs in Italy: the BLEND whiskybar in Castelfranco Veneto, the Rasputin Secret Bar in Florence and the Old London Pub in Trieste. We had the chance to taste it some weeks ago at the distillery and we really enjoyed it. Now let’s taste it more carefully.

N:wonderful impact, a thick and intense peat, typical of Kilchoman style: that means it’s deeply mineral, definetely smoky and not very maritime. Pleasant and pronounced notes of talcum powder and eucalyptus make the nose quite balsamic. This side is ever present, but under this layer, a “sweet” and multifaced fruity soul is pawing: strawberry jam and peaches in syrup prove the sherry influence, with suggestions of caramel, sultanas, custard. Fruit pastries, or even cannolo siciliano! Elegant, brutal, cheeky.

P: it seemed impossible, but the peatiness actually increases: it’s deep, bold, smoky and burned. It brings to our mind a juicy, tasty piece of pork meat just removed from the BBQ, still ashy… It’s not maritime, but a surprising salty note is recognizable. The sweetness is crunchy, burned and “dark”: tarte tatin, custard and caramel. The balsamic side is still here and still powerful: pine needles, laurel and eucalyptus..

F: extinguished bonfire, lots of embers and burning wood. Grilled bacon and a jammy sweetness.

Amazing and really tasty. It’s a solid and intense whisky, without any weakness. It’s the “older” Kilchoman we’ve ever tasted, oustanding exemple of an uncompromising style, clearly aiming to reach the harmonious coexistence of intensity and complexity. Every cask gives a clear and well integrated influence. But we’d love to point out the incredible vibrancy of the spirit, heavily peated and fruity from the beginning: 90/100.

Sottofondo musicale consigliato: Iron Maiden – Sanctuary.

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