It has been a while since I reviewed something from Kilchoman. The last one was even the Kilchoman Loch Gorm from 2017. But that will change today, thanks to Jason who gave me a sample of the Kilchoman 100% Islay, the 9th edition.

So the 100% Islay, what is it all about. According to Kilchoman, this is a single farm single malt, meaning so much that all the steps they have taken to make the whisky have happened at their own distillery, from growing the barley to bottling this single malt. Hence the name 100% Islay.

This 9-year-old is the oldest edition from the 100% Islay range and barley from both 2007 and 2009 has been used, so part of this single malt is actually older than 9 years. Kilchoman uses a lower peat level for the 100% Islay than the other single malts in the core range, to let the other flavours come through a bit more. I am curious if I will also taste that, but it certainly sounds promising!

This Kilchoman has matured in 1st fill bourbon & refill bourbon casks and is bottled at 50% ABV.

Kilchoman 100% Islay tasting notes:

Nose: A nice layer of peat. Cereals, and a hint of barley sugar. There is some vanilla and honey. Followed by lemons. It’s a little bit nutty too. Hay.

Taste: More peat than in the nose. But its’s creamy too. Chocolate and caramel. Somewhat salty. Honey again and cereals in the background. Then lemons and green apples, which gives it a little bit of freshness. Quite nice. Some menthol in the very background. And spices.

Finish: Peat again, and vanilla. Lemons.

I think this is the best Kilchoman release I’ve had so far. It’s youthful but it has also a lot to say. An interesting one and great to see Kilchoman is getting better over the years.

Photo credit: Whiskybase