Kilchoman Machir Bay. 46% ABV. Non-chill filtered. No coloring.
Kilchoman is the newest Islay distillery. They started operation in 2005. The Kilchoman Machir Bay release is a blend of 4 and 5 year old whisky, where the 4 year old has been finished in Oloroso sherry casks before being blended.
Kilchoman is also distinctive in being the only farm-to-bottle distillery. They grow their own barley and do the malting, distilling, maturing and bottling on premise.
The nose on this whisky is smooth and light. Green apple with peat and a hint of vanilla. On the palate, the peat is forward, but not overpowering. There are lemon and pear elements. A fun balance of peat and sweet that leaves a final smoky olive oil feel on the tongue. The finish is very pleasing while relatively short, with peat and a bit of peppery heat. Smoke lingers.
This whiskey surprised me. I expected one this young to be more aggressive and less refined. But, it has very good depth and balance despite it’s youth. To be certain, I would not mistake this for an 18 year old whisky, but it stands up very well in comparison to whisky aged 8 to 10 years. And, it comes at a very reasonable price, making it a great dram-for-your-dollar value.
If you want a good value in a young whisky, I think you would be pleased with Kilchoman Machir Bay. As long as you remember it does have the peat and smoke profile of an Islay whisky.