I've just finished this bottle, and guess what? I really like this one too. I’d written previously that there was a vibrancy about Kilchoman that came through with the 100% Islay. And it’s still there with this one albeit a touch more refined.
To look at it has a pale straw colour which gives a rather false impression of being weedy. It has a big medicinal nose, but also creamy with a bit of butterscotch. I got citrus notes - grapefruit or apple; fruity but without being sickly sweet. It's smoky but not damp smoke like Laphroaig. Lighter and more floral. Like a forest fire or an arson attempt on a barn. You know - Summer-y smoke
To taste it was smoother than the previous Kilchoman I've had, perhaps unsurprising given the extra time it has sat in a cask. It’s buttery and there's a pleasant, lasting finish. I was getting a lip-smacking BBQ sauce aftertaste and a satisfying burnt sausage repeat. In some ways there was more on the finish than the taste.
It put me in mind of a barbeque on a summer’s day - there’s the a sort of giddy, fresh excitement you get at the start of a BBQ, anticipation of what is to come mixed with smokey getting everywhere. And then afterwards after it all settles down, there is a warming, fulfilling, contented finish. Imagine sitting on the grass at the top of sand dune, catching the scent of the nearby fire on the wind.
It’s still not hugely complex but very pleasing. It’s nicely different to other Islays, which it needs to be to stride into that marketplace. The direction of travel is that it’s getting tamed in the barrel but this still retains its exuberance.
Just another fantastic whisky. I don't know if it's just me - I have a friend that is far from convinced but I'm becoming a big fan.