Kilchoman Machir Bay 46% – Peat pairing evening

This was not the 1st time our merry Mumbai malt group sampled Machir Bay. I suspect it will not be the last either.
As usual, we sampled blind. However this time, after revealing the whiskies, we re-sampled as part of a proper sit-down three course meal with whisky pairing.
Kilchoman Machir Bay, Sanaig, Sherry Cask

Kilchoman Machir Bay, Sanaig, Sherry Cask

  • Colour: Light
  • Nose: Peat and sweet in waves – initially a very strong peat, rolls of smoke, then mellowed into sweet fruit, aroma of pineapple on a grill, pomelo, then soot came back with an edge of temple ash
  • Taste: Just like the nose – strong peat then sweet, cigar, a bit oily and viscous, sea salt, dry fruits, hazelnuts
  • Finish: Like puffing pipe tobacco, extremely dry, ash
  • Water: On the nose cinnamon bark and palate a spice explosion with a strong paprika spice burn. Let’s just say that when water was added, we all unconsciously grabbed a cucumber stick to help cut the spice.
Speculation: Sense of being in the 46% range, tough to pinpoint age however considered older simply as it managed to achieve a palate that lived up to the nose.
Reveal: Vatting of 5-6 year single malts with 80% ex-bourbon & 20% Oloroso Sherry butts. The palate phenomenally follows the nose, including the vacillation between smoke and sweet.
Typically we’ve found that those whiskies where the palate fulfils the promise of the nose tend to be older… Somehow the folks at Kilchoman have pulled that off in a NAS younger whisky. Superb!
This now makes four opportunities for a focused sampling of Machir Bay!
Up next:

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8 thoughts on “Kilchoman Machir Bay 46% – Peat pairing evening

  1. I have the 2014 version of Machir Bay but your tasting experience has tempted me into hunting down the latest version. When I got the 2014 I remember the reviews were saying that each release of Machir Bay was getting better and better (and it was great to begin with). Thankfully Marks & Spencer stock it so it’s only a supermarket away. I hope it gets easier for you to source Kilchoman out east because it’s lovely stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

    • They are getting progressively better. 🙂 We can now get Kilchoman Machir Bay and 100% Islay in Mumbai for a pretty penny… I was particularly impressed with Sanaig recently. And mourned the passing of my last drop of Coull Point… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I haven’t even started my Coull Point but I’ll get there eventually. To use a line from the movie Aeroplane – I think I picked the wrong year to give up alcohol! 🙂 The Sanaig does sound tempting. So much whisky….so little money! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • The nice thing about both Coull Point and Sanaig is they don’t break the bank like the Kilchoman Trilogy – each cask strength and in our case purchased in the already expensive Singapore. I’m like you though… always wanting to try something new but there are a few that if it was easier to source, wouldn’t mind keeping as a ‘daily dram’ – that’s precisely how the Coull Point was drained. (And no, I don’t drink daily, more like just a few times a month… but you know what I mean by a ‘daily dram’ type whisky :-0 )

        Liked by 1 person

      • Absolutely! It’s what I consider the ‘go to’ dram because, like you, I don’t drink daily. I’d probably say my go-to dram has varied over the years from the Highland Park 10 to the Ardbeg 10 as I’ve grown more fond of Islays. I’m sure you’ll get another Coull Point during your travels because there always seems to be lots of bottles at the airports.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mine used to be Highland Park 18… years ago! However much I enjoyed the Coull Point and plentiful it is at duty free, that precious 2 L allowance to bring into India each trip (now only 2-3 per year) has many other priorities – including samples from family. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, that is a bit limiting. I’m sure you’ll find another Kilchoman that’s easier to source and can take the place of the Coull Point. It’s a shame the HP18 can’t still be your ‘go to’ but wow, it’s shot up in price just in the last few years, which makes it a luxury choice rather than a go-to. The Macallan 18yo is even worse!

        Liked by 1 person

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