Kilchoman distillery in front of me. It is the cask strength version of the distillery's Machir Bay expression which was bottled last September for the tasting tour conducted by George and Peter Wills that covered all the major cities of the West Coast of US. The whisky is blended from 90% ex-bourbon and 10% ex-sherry casks and only 840 bottles have been made available. Since I am a big fan of Machir Bay already I am very excited about this bottle. Let's pop it open and pour...
Color: Straw, pale lemon chiffon with very thin but persistent tears.
Nose: Burnt stubble, dry malt and hot oatmeal. Lemon zest, strawberry cream pie and earl grey tea bags fresh out of their tin box. Dusty, chalky and earthy... Animal barn, dry hay and clay. Yellow grapefruit and bergamot peel. A few drops of water add stone fruits: Underripe apricots, white peaches and yellow plums.
Palate: All kinds of smoky farm references: Campfire, burnt haystack and dark gardening soil. Table salt, natural mineral water and bay leaves. Incredibly dusty, earthy and dry. Sage, fresh rosemary sprigs and fresh oregano leaves. Raw, young, restless but tasty. It gets a tad spicy after adding water: Red chili pepper flakes and pickled jalapeno rings.
Finish: Long with fireplace ash, wood smoke and salt.
Overall: Such a powerful and beautiful whisky... It is young, earthy and dry. Not coastal like the other usual suspects from the same island, instead it resembles farmland, dry soil and campfire. Very hard not to fall in love with... It is possible that it is a younger blend than the regular Machir Bay batches or maybe it is the higher abv highlighting the younger components in the blend. I am not quite sure but what it is it sure works perfectly... It is fidgety, restless and impressive. Perfect flask whisky for colder days... I wish I could encourage all peat heads to get a bottle right away but I am afraid it is long gone by now. I selfishly feel lucky that I managed to score a bottle the week it got released...