Fino Sherry Cask Matured and Cognac Cask Matured are two brand-new whisky expressions that Kilchoman has introduced. Beginning this week, both are offered through Kilchoman retailers all over the world.
Kilchoman Fino Sherry Cask Matured 2023
The distillers hand-selected a total of 20 Fino Sherry Butts from which the Kilchoman Fino Sherry Cask Matured Scotch was created in 2018. As opposed to the distillery's usual concentration on Oloroso sherry barrels, which are mostly utilised for its Sanaig and Loch Gorm expressions, Fino offers the spirit a completely different maturation approach.
Fino sherry is a type of fortified wine that is produced in the Andalusia region of southern Spain. It is made from the Palomino grape and is known for its pale straw colour, dry and delicate flavour, and unique production method.
Fino sherry is aged under a layer of yeast called flor, which forms naturally on the surface of the wine as it ferments. The flor protects the wine from oxygen, which gives fino its distinct flavour profile.
The barrels used in this ageing procedure are American oak butts, which are kept in the bodega using the traditional solera technique. The typical maturation period is between 4 and 7 years. These barrels at Kilchoman provide a rich saline character with notes of fresh herbs, as well as flavour profiles that are immediately distinguishable of yeast, bread, and almonds.
Only 15,650 bottles of the Kilchoman Fino Sherry Cask Matured whisky, which has a 50% ABV, will be sold. On the nose, it has a delicate, dry peat smoke that gradually gives way to the unique Fino Sherry cask influence, which contributes dry, smoky wood and a lingering sweetness of butterscotch. A honeycomb sweetness on the mouth is followed by rich toffee and caramel. Flaked almonds, fresh citrus, candied fruits, and a subtle peat smoke are all flavours found in the Kilchoman spirit. The malty spirit is combined with matured citrus fruit, little peat smoke, and undertones of dark chocolate in the flavour's lingering finish.
“The Fino Sherry maturation works incredibly well with our classic Kilchoman character. The 2023 release elevates the fragrant green apple, stewed fruits and sweet citrus while allowing for the unmistakable Kilchoman peat smoke to linger on the palate. Fino is another example of sherry casks working together, not against, our Kilchoman spirit” ~ Anthony Wills, Kilchoman Founder
Kilchoman Cognac Cask Matured 2023
The distillery's first-ever Cognac cask-matured release, Kilchoman Cognac Cask Matured, was made from 32 specially selected barrels. These barrels were used to mature kilchoman alcohol for at least six years.
Cognac is a type of brandy that is produced in the Cognac region of France, and it is regarded as one of the finest spirits in the world. The production process of cognac is highly regulated by French law, which mandates that it must be made from specific grape varieties, including Ugni Blanc, Folle Blanche, and Colombard.
Cognac is distilled twice in copper pot stills and then aged in oak barrels for at least two years, although many cognacs are aged for much longer. The ageing process gives the cognac its distinct colour, aroma, and flavour profile, which can range from fruity and floral to spicy and woody.
Cognac is classified based on its age, with the youngest cognac being classified as VS (Very Special), which is aged for a minimum of two years. VSOP (Very Superior Old Pale) cognac is aged for at least four years, while XO (Extra Old) cognac must be aged for at least six years.
The Cognac barrels used at Kilchoman were acquired from the French Bossuet Cooperage and came from just this one Cognac company. The flavour characteristics of dried fruits, toffee, and toasty spices have been imparted to our spirit by these 300 bulk litre barrels, which has worked exceptionally well.
Only 15,100 bottles of the Kilchoman Cognac Cask Matured whisky, which has a 50% ABV, will be sold. The nose opens with a framework of rich apple and pear notes, with herbaceous fresh fruit starting to emerge as the whisky starts to open. Over ageing, the peat becomes more subtle while mellow notes of honey and warming spice emerge. On the tongue, there is a buttery mouthfeel that permeates the entire mouth along with dried lemon, apricot, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Toasted oak and sweet peat smoke also have an impact and help hold everything together. The end has marzipan, crystallised ginger, lingering peat smoke, and citrus oil along with dried fruits and marzipan.
“The limited-edition cask exploration editions allow us to experiment with our spirit here at Kilchoman. The Cognac casks selected for this 2023 release permit our fruit-driven, citrus spirit style to balance with that of the Cognac oak. There is a delicate balance to be found when working with Cognac casks; keeping the age of this release at a minimum of six years old ensures the flavours from the spirit and the cask are easily detected, neither dominates” ~ Anthony Wills, Kilchoman Founder
Kilchoman is a small, independent distillery located on the island of Islay in Scotland, known for its peated single malt whiskies. The distillery was founded in 2005 and is one of the few distilleries in Scotland to carry out the entire whisky-making process on-site, from growing its own barley to bottling the final product.
Kilchoman produces a range of single malt whiskies, including its flagship Machir Bay expression, which is a blend of whiskies matured in both bourbon and sherry casks. The distillery is also known for its limited edition releases, which often experiment with different cask types and maturation methods.
In addition to whisky production, Kilchoman also has a visitor centre, offering tours of the distillery and tastings of its whiskies. The distillery is committed to using sustainable and environmentally-friendly practices, including using renewable energy sources and minimising waste.
Kilchoman also just recently announced a new and exciting collaboration with automobile maker Land Rover.