Kilchoman Loch Gorm. 46% ABV. Non-chill filtered. No color added.
This will complete my end-of-2016 tasting note frenzy. I do not plan to let this blog become as dormant as it was for most of this year, but the pace will now slow. Not for lack of old friends to revisit, just simply with winter break nearing the end, I will need to find more balance. At least until I retire!
Kilchoman Loch Gorm offerings are the product of a five year aging. Loch Gorm differs from other Kilchoman offerings in that the aging is completed exclusively in ex-Oloroso sherry casks.
The 2013 release of Loch Gorm won a Gold Medal in the Islay Scotch Single Malt category at the International Wine & Spirits Competition. The bottle that I am sampling is the 2014 release (distilled in 2009).
On the nose one can clearly smell the characteristic notes of an Islay whisky, seaside peat and smoke. But on second pass, there are also sweeter components, citrus and ginger. The sweet elements seem a bit different to me on each pass, always a bit difficult to clearly identify under the peat layer. On the palate, it is smoky on entry but not overpowering. Brine, spice, and lemons come forward out of the smoke. The finish is moderate length, with a little heat. The finish is both semi-sweet and smoky.
I am still a bit uncertain of how much I enjoy the sherry cask sweetness added to the peat base of Islay whisky. I think that Kilchoman Loch Gorm carries it off as well as possible. A bit like the Lagavulin Distiller’s Editions, just with the associated brash edge of youth. While it would not be my first choice, I certainly find it to be a very enjoyable member of the Islay family of single malt whisky.