Islay Duo – Bruichladdich vs Kilchoman

When the weather is wet, cold and miserable, there is nothing like a bit of peat in your whisky to pick you up! While we still have a few more days of summery weather, our last selection of the evening from a Drinks by the Drams Single Cask Whisky Advent Calendar turned to a pair of peaty Islay single casks, bottled by the folks over at Master of Malts:

  • Bruichladdich 16 year (2002) Single Cask 62.6%
  • Kilchoman 6 year (2012) Cask 405/2012 56.9%

We began with the Bruichladdich….

Bruichladdich 16 year (2002) Single Cask 62.6%

  • Nose – Initially greeted us with some maritime sea spray, then the peat subtly surfaced more and more, a lovely herbal sweetness, toffee… then after the initial sip, we were rewarded with sweet maple bacon, sweet grass
  • Palate – Yum! Such delicious peat – Montreal smoked meats, roast pork, tobacco, frankly just very tasty!
  • Finish – Really long lovely smoke 
  • Water? I felt no need to add however one of my tasting companions did and shared how it made the whisky much sweeter

For me, this was a singularly fine specimen from Bruichladdich! We speculated it must come from the “Port Charlotte” line – clear stamp of peat but not amped up like an “Octomore”!

What more do we know? Here is what the folks over at Master of Malt have to say:

A wonderful bottle of Bruichladdich, bottled by yours truly – that’s right, it was bottled by Master of Malt! This 16 year old single malt was distilled on Islay back in July 2002 and filled into a refill sherry hogshead, where it slumbered until January 2019, when we bottled it up at cask strength, with no chill-filtration or additional colouring.

Tasting Note by The Chaps at Master of Malt

  • Nose: Apple and dried pear, golden syrup over steamed pudding, thick vanilla and toasted almond, then freshly polished wood and light wood smoke.
  • Palate: Toasted barley, brown sugar, vanilla and lemon peels lead. Plenty of earthy spice and oak shavings emerge underneath.
  • Finish: Lasting citrus sweetness and vanilla-y barley.

As on September 2022 it is still available for a whopping Eur 210!


What next? We moved on to the Kilchoman…

Kilchoman 6 year (2012) Cask 405/2012 56.9%

  • Nose – Iodine and bandaid adhesive, smoke meats and spice, pastrami and toast
  • Palate– Sweet and peat, some spice, young with the wood element clearly showing through
  • Finish – Warm and lasting

While we couldn’t say for sure, it was clear this had something more than an ex-bourbon cask at work. Was it sherry or something else? Who knew but it added a nice sweetness.

As for the Kilchoman? The folks over at Master of Malt also had something to share:

A single cask bottling of tasty Islay single malt from the Kilchoman distillery, bottled for Drinks by the Dram! This one was matured for 6 years, from July 2012 to August 2018, which included a finishing period in a red wine cask, before being bottled at cask strength.

Tasting Note by The Chaps at Master of Malt

  • Nose: Scones, jam and clotted cream – a classic combo. Lasting earthy peat and some tobacco notes later on.
  • Palate: Digestive biscuits, salted butter, raspberry and soft sandalwood hints.
  • Finish: Clove, cinnamon, barley, smoke and oily walnut.

It is now sold out, however, when it was available it was priced at approximately Eur 92.

And there we have it, three pairs of samples explored and enjoyed!

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