Thursday, 8 December 2011

Growing Up... Kilchoman 100% Islay

I came to a strange realisation recently that I had crossed 'the line'. I was entering the grey and dangerous world of adulthood, I was growing up. Computer games hold little charm, I find certain comedy routines to be tired and unoriginal, and I struggle to see the point of Quentin Tarantino. Then I thought about it, was I becoming more and more immature? I can't deny that I enjoy animated kids films, the Incredibles and Toy Story are undeniably movie greats, and I did spontaneously buy a Lego set when walking around Canary Wharf the other day. Then it dawned on me, growing up isn't about rejecting the spontaneity and vibrancy of youth and it isn't about becoming entrenched, reactionary and right-wing. It is the selection of the best of both worlds through the well polished lens of experience (i.e. Lego is fun, Tarantino is overrated). We make decisions based on our experiences to maximise our overall pleasure (apologies for the Utilitarianism), ergo growing up should be about maximising pleasure... probably.

When thinking about growing up. It dawned on me that I used to almost exclusively drink heavily peated whiskies but more and more I shy away from them. Although I still enjoy peaty beasts I rarely seek them out. Today I tried a peated whisky that was so satisfyingly peaty that it brought me back to those early years drinking Islay whiskies as if they were an antidote to the Lowland and Speyside whiskies I was trying to get my head round. The whisky was the latest release from the guys at Kilchoman, the 100% Islay bottling. The concept being that the whisky is entirely produced on the Island from the barley to the bottling, and it demonstrates excellent interaction with the peat. This is a whisky that, like me, is growing up.

Kilchoman 100% Islay
50% - No Age Statement
Nose: Mounds of hay smoke, soft and warming with gentle iodine notes. Underneath there is the suggestion of mascerated red fruit and a hint of citrus.
Palate: Warm smoky charcoal, a grassy quality I associate with Kilchoman and a meaty mouth-coatingly oily texture.
Finish: Slow but builds into a campfire in your stomach with autumnal fruits following.
Overall: Exceptional balance, there is plenty of Islay peat here. It is a central flavour but it doesn't exceed its limits at any point. Another example of how great this distillery is and how brilliant it will continue to be.

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