Next up in our Kilchoman trilogy was a cask strength whisky matured exclusively in a Pedro Ximenez cask. Unlike the depth of red sherry, this white Spanish grape is dried under the sun to create a thick, dark liquid with raisins and molasses which then is fortified and aged using a solera process.
For whiskies, using either a PX or Oloroso sherry butt produces a distinctive ‘Christmasy’ sweetness with subtle differences. Some suggest a PX cask tends to imbue a whisky more strongly with raisins, gaining an almost syrupy quality. Whereas Oloroso tends to be rich, spicier plum pudding sweetness. Read on to see what we found with this Kilchoman PX before comparing it with the Oloroso Sherry cask.
- Colour – Much darker than the 1st, clear indication of entering sherry territory
- Nose – One immediate comment was “It’s like that red hair oil!” (Navratan kesh tel), salty sweet, smoked sweet bacon, stewed fruits, coconut? Cinnamon sweet without the extra spicy zing we sometimes find, lots of sea salt, then caramel popcorn and finally seaweed
- Palate – Less complex and much more accessible than the 1st whisky. Peat is mild… the sense that you need to ‘pull it out’ rather than being ‘hello! I’m here!’ However better body and much better balanced than the 1st whisky. Think aged balsamic, much more oil and substance, almost chewy or syrupy
- Finish – Sits there with spice, caramel toffee and an inner curl of peat
- Water – Doesn’t require it. Some found it killed it.
- Speculation – Sense of it being more matured than the 1st, sherry elements without being overpowering
- Mood / setting – This one you could welcome in a bar, not so demanding of careful attention. A lot easier to get acquainted and simply enjoy. One tasters clear favourite!
- Comments – “Sweet and yummy with some spice!” “A balance of sweet and spice – perfect!”
The nose opens in a particularly heady whirlwind in which peat and sherry match each other note for note in intensity. A spectacular change of olfactory scene overflowing with fruity and floral aromas. An attack on the palate in which peat takes its leave for a few moments before making a triumphant return. The end of the palate is characterised by the sumptuous influence of the sherry. Peat and smoke join forces in a grand finale that emphasizes the great purity of this distillate. Just a few highlights in experiencing this Kilchoman aged in Pedro Ximenez casks.
Profile: the peat gives way to a note of agave here, grapefruit there, and even mustard seed.
Also in our Kilchoman Trilogy evening:
We’ve had the pleasure of sampling a few other Kilchoman’s in the past too…
- Kilchoman Coull Point
- Kilchoman peat pairing part 1
- Kilchoman Machir Bay 46%
- Kilchoman Sanaig 46%
- Kilchoman Sherry Cask 60.6%
- Kilchoman peat pairing dinner
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