Kilchoman distillery already released a Fino Sherry Matured expression as a limited edition in 2020. Now this recipe returns with the Kilchoman Fino Sherry Cask Matured 2023.
This single malt whisky was distilled in 2018, with a peat level of 50 ppm. It is aged for at least 5 years and now comes at 50% ABV instead of the previous 46%. Good idea.
The distillery used 20 Fino sherry casks seasoned by José & Miguel Martín. This company is originally from the Huelva region, but it is now also active in Jerez after acquiring the bankrupt bodega Valdivia. Their casks also go to Glenfarclas, Ardgowan and Springbank for their Sherry Wood series, among others.
Kilchoman Fino Sherry Cask (50%, OB 2023 Edition, 15.650 btl.)
Nose: ashy peat, Lagavulin style. Perhaps slightly lighter than expected. A few leafy and vegetal notes, as well as light pine needles and rosemary. Then olives in brine, walnuts and citrusy notes. Whiffs of asphalt and popcorn in the background too.
Mouth: warming smoke (again not immensely peaty), hints of burnt rubber and liquorice. Then almonds, toffee and baked apple comes out. Always surprising how the driest style of sherry seems to make whisky sweeter. Getting drier and saltier after a while though, adding herbal notes, walnuts and a little pepper. The apple note becomes fresher, more towards green apple.
Finish: long and salty, with lemons, plenty of dry ashes and a hint of (sour) ground coffee beans.
A successful Kilchoman in my opinion. I like the added salty / sour note – even though the Fino clearly adds less expected sweetness as well. I think this whisky would be better at a higher age though. Available from The Whisky Exchange or Royal Mile Whiskies for instance.