Review: Kilchoman 5 Yr 2006 Vintage


See this post for a detailed history of Kilchoman Distillery.

Kilchoman is the best whisky distillery that you’ve never heard of. At this small scale farm distillery, John Maclellan and Anthony Willis are crafting some of the most exciting drams in the industry. Anthony Willis was recently recognized as the “Master Distiller of the Year” by a panel of judges at the International Whisky Competition.

The Kilchoman 5 yr old is the oldest release currently available from the youngest distillery in Islay. Per it’s name sake, this vintage edition was distilled in 2006. Kilchoman plans to continue to release a limited number of 5 yr vintage bottlings until their 10 yr is matured. The dram is a combination of of 80% ex-bourbon and 20% refill bourbon barrels. It’s bottled non chill-filtered at 46% ABV. This limited bottling is really tough to find, so count yourself lucky if you manage to snatch one up. If you’re a Kilchoman fan like me then you’ll find it interesting to see how their dram evolves over the years. The 5 yr is a significant milestone in the history of Kilchoman Distillery.

Tasting Notes

Nose: smoky, peat, oak, hay

Mouth: ashy peat, bittersweet, tangy, peppery, complex

Finish: peppery, well rounded and full bodied, lingering smoky flavor, long finish

Score: 88/100

Verdict: Kilchoman has done it again with a fantastic whisky. If you are a fan of Machir Bay then you’ll like this release also. You wouldn’t believe it was only five years old! Most of us have unfortunately been conditioned to only buy whisky bottlings aged 12 or older, but it would be a grave mistake to pass this one over. In a blind tasting one would have trouble distinguishing this 5 yr dram from something much older. That being said, I actually thought the Machir Bay achieved a better balance than this Vintage. For the price the Machir Bay is a better value as well, but if you’re a Kilchoman fan then it’s worth your while to seek out the 5 yr bottling.

Where to Buy

This is a rare whisky indeed, NYC is currently out of stock

Where to Sip

Flatiron Room – 37 W. 26th St. New York, NY 10010

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