In the seemingly endless stream of Kilchoman bottlings, there are two PX finished versions for Belgium.
One is the Kilchoman 2009 cask 576/2008 for TastToe & Broekmans. There must be some kind of error on the label because the cask reference (2008) and the vintage don’t match. I believe this is actually a 2008 vintage as casks #575 (for LMdW) and #577 (for Whisky Import Netherlands) are distilled on the same day in 2008.
The other one is Kilchoman 2009 cask 262/2009 for two whisky clubs (2009 for real this time). This is a 100% Islay version.
Kilchoman 5 yo 2009
(58,2%, OB for TastToe & Drankenshop, cask #576/2008, PX finish, 231 btl.)
Nose: deep smoke, soot and earthy notes first. Blackberries, roasted coffee beans and dark chocolate are on a second level here, contrary to some other PX finishes I’ve had from this distillery. Some After Eight and cigar leaves. Hazelnuts. Nice balance of dry peat, roasted notes and rounder sherry notes.
Mouth: again very much focusing on its sooty side. Big peat smoke. Hints of chocolate coated cherries, dates and black tea. In a way this is like a young Lagavulin Distiller’s Edition. Then some caramelized nuts. The PX blends nicely with the peat.
Finish: long, warm, more sugary notes now.
One of the best sherried Kilchomans I’ve come across. Make that one of the best Kilchomans.
Kilchoman 5 yo 2009 (55,2%, OB for De Tongerse Whiskyvrienden & Whiskyclub Luxembourg, cask #262/2009, 100% Islay cask PX finish)
Nose: although both profiles are obviously very similar, this one comes across slightly more oaky. Definitely more iodine / menthol. There’s also more rhubarb and lemon, and a slightly sharper hint of green chilies. Less of the rounder tobacco. But closely together.
Mouth: again a slightly sharper version, more coastal and medicinal. Less Lagavulin, more Laphroaig? The chocolaty roundness is overtaken by a minty freshness.
Finish: long, interesting balance of medicinal high notes and a sugared base.
Choosing one of these whiskies would come down to personal preferences, I guess. Both are two interpretations of the Islay style. Both are impressive five year-olds.