Over the years I’ve had some interesting experiences with Kilchoman. However the last bottle that was actually mine to keep (as opposed to helping others source) was the Coull Point which was my ‘daily dram’ of choice for as long as it lasted back in mid 2015!
So when Islay Storm showed up as part of an Islay tasting flight at The Single Cask early 2017, with an unmistakable ‘stamp’ of Kilchoman, I vowed it was time to acquire another bottle for home.
Enter the Loch Gorm 100% sherry matured… sourced from the UK. Earlier experiences with Kilchoman’s peat and full sherry sweet were all cask strength with an Olorosso and Pedro Ximenez, so I looked forward to trying a ‘connoisseurs’ strength of 46%.
Kilchoman Loch Gorm (2010/2016) 46%
- Nose – Lasang souchon tea, bandaids, antisceptic, one found fish? Then it started to settle down with some sweet cinnamon and maple syrup…
- Palate – Very pronounced peat! And with the peat was sweet, and yet it was initially a bit unbalanced, some sweet smoky cinnamon, cloves, dry
- Finish – Peat with ash
After the absolutely stunning BenRiach, this was quite the change. Certainly as a contrast, it succeeded. However as a whisky for the gents to relax, unwind and enjoy… not that evening.
So I took it home…. and added a few generous drops of water – wow! Transformed…
- Nose – It became much fruitier, rich chocolate, mince pie, vanilla and even, dare I say it, marshmallows?
- Palate – Now we have the balance! Much sweeter, fruitier yet lost none of the “oomph!” and character
- Finish – Long, cinnamon sweet with an unmistakable curl of smoke… almost sacred ash like… with a chaser of spice.
I think it might be fun to revisit again with the Whisky Ladies as part of a Smokey Night… where the Loch Gorm will have some peaty Islay company!
Here is what the folks over at Kilchoman have to say:
Named after a famously peaty loch overlooked by the distillery, Loch Gorm is the only fully ex-sherry cask matured release in our range. Since it’s first launch in 2012 a new edition of Loch Gorm has been released every year, each with it’s unique balance of sherry influence and maturity. Bottlings are differentiated by distillation and bottling years printed on the label. Loch Gorm combines rich sherry fruits and spices with smouldering peat, cloves and lingering sweetness.
And for this specific bottle? The box has this to say:
- Colour: Rich mahogany
- Nose: Spicy and sweet with peat smoke and dark chocolate well integrated
- Palate: Soft fruits, well rounded and full of character
- Finish: Lingering, sweet and well balanced
Kilchoman whiskies sampled include:
- Bourbon Single Cask Trilogy 60.5% (LMDW)
- Coull Point 46%
- Machir Bay 46% & 2nd tasting
- Pedro Ximenez Single Cask Trilogy 58.4% (LMDW)
- Sanaig 46%
- Sherry Single Cask 60.6% (LMDW) & 2nd tasting
Here are the whiskies explored in our Sherry Unusual evening:
- Irish – Hyde #6 President’s Reserve (2017) 46%
- Indian – Paul John 7 Year (2009/16) Oloroso Sherry Cask Finish 57.4%
- Speyside – BenRiach 12 year (2005/2018) Cask No 5052 59.3%
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I may need to find me a bottle of this. I am in need of a topic of research for this year and it just might be the influence of sherry casks on peaty drams! Any tips which to try?
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The Whisky Ladies enjoyed the Loch Gorm much more in the context of other peaty drams, where the rich sweetness came out even more.
For sherry and peat with Kilchoman – nothing beat the cask strength duo of Olorosso & PX bottled as part of a trilogy for La Maison du Whisky.
I also recall a G&MP Ardbeg that was peaty & sherry, from Campbeltown Kilkerran’s sherry…
You could also expand to other “wines” too like Amrut Port Pipe Peated…
It would be an interesting theme to explore Peat & Sweet in a range of different cask maturations and finishes.
Can’t wait to see what you come up with!
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Probably something nerdy 😉 thank you for the advice!