Apr 27, 2015

Kilchoman Machir Bay (2014)...

Kilchoman Machir Bay (2014) (46.0%): Tonight I am visiting one of the samples I saved from a tasting we put together among friends almost two months ago. It is Islay's youngest distillery Kilchoman's Machir Bay expression. This young distillery is one of the few in Scotland which has its own floor maltings. Almost 25% of their barley is sourced from the fields surrounding the distillery and they also have their own bottling plant on site. Despite their small capacity of only 150.000 liters per year and very young whisky stocks they come up every year amazingly impressive expressions. Machir Bay 2014 release is a vatting of five and six year old whiskies matured in ex-bourbon barrels and Oloroso sherry butts. Color: Pale lemon chiffon, straw like. Nose: Oh, my... Where to start: Sweet peat, ocean spray and olive brine. Grapefruit gratin, yellow gummy bears and diesel fuel. Seaweed, soot and cigar ash. Mixed smell of engine oil, fuel soaked hemp ropes, wet cork and fresh caught fish in the air on your way back from a successful fishing trip on a lovely Sunday afternoon. Adding a few drops of water shifted it to an even sweeter side: Rock candies, ginger ale and honey roasted almonds. Palate: Unexpectedly smooth and sweet but still quite peaty. Caramelized brown sugar, warm chestnut honey and lemon juice. Wet sand at the beach, white peppercorns, white grape juice and chili pepper flavored dark chocolate. Water made all these notes work together like a blended whisky. Very approachable but a little one dimensional now. Finish: Medium long with some plastic food container notes, chipotles and black pepper. Overall: Instead of the usual grassy and earthy notes of Kilchoman this expression has a more coastal and fruity character. Well, that's why it is named after the gorgeous beach of Machir Bay I guess... It is smooth, sweet and dangerously drinkable. Maybe a little too sweet for my palate but it is damn tasty folks... The small amount of the Oloroso butts worked perfect in the vat to round the peaty edges. I have to admit that I was a little skeptical about its price in the beginning but it's a remarkable whisky nevertheless. Especially nowadays in a market swarmed by no age statement whiskies with price tags around $100 this bottle is definitely worth the $60 - $70 you will spend.