These were my humble impessions on the oldest Kilchoman available at the time of the review. The Vintage 2008 is a vatting of 100% seven year old Bourbon barrels, both new and refill. It is bottled at 46% and like all Kilchoman releases this is neither colored nor chill-filtered.
Situation: Comforting myself with this nice dram, listening to Peter Gabriel live in Athens 1982 and smiling as I read my old notes on this one. I first had it at the Kilchoman Tasting Tour this year which was great fun and if you see that the boys are somewhere in your area you should go. It was a bit pricey but very well worth it
Nose: Oh, this is the good stuff: after opening the lid there is an intense smell of salty smoked ham like Black Forest Ham, rather clear smoke, caramel, sweet fruits, hints of nuts and chocolate
Taste: peaty entry, then malt, vanilla, tropical fruits, chocolate accompanied by clean cut smoke. Oily, velvet mouthfeel, the 46% are hardly noticeable and everything is very good, well, integrated I would say.
Finish: Briny, some tingly briny spices show up here and there, smokey, the oily mouthfeel stays for a while accompanied with waves of brine and then chocolate and then smoke and then brine and then….and I made a drawing looking like this /\/\/\/\/\/\/\ 🙂 the first time I had this dram. Quite long and nice.
Conclusion: I imagine to taste some parallels to the Ardbeg I had yesterday but that just might be because the malt used for this, errm, malt was peated by Port Ellen Maltings to the same specifications as the Ardbeg malt, so around 50ppm. It’s the oldest Kilchoman available at the time of the original review and it shows that chances of a tasty future lay ahead! I’m a bit sad that I wasn’t able to reproduce the Black Forest Ham notes on the nose without a lid, so make sure you cover your dram while you let it settle and then stuck your nose right in! Yummy! The Vintage 2008 feels very balanced with different tastes taking the lead with every sip. If it wasn’t for the brine popping up now and then one might think about calling it a bit boring. But then you take another sip, find another taste detail and laugh about that thought…