Kilchoman Loch Gorm 2010/2016 Sherry Cask 46%

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:

Here are the whiskies explored in our Sherry Unusual evening:

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Sherry Unusual – Hyde, Paul John, Kilchoman, BenRiach

Sherry’s effect on whisky can be a marvel. And I wanted to do something a bit different for our Bombay Malt & Cigar gents to push the boundaries beyond the known sherry drams like Aberlour, GlenDronach, Glenrothes, etc.

Normally we dive straight into whiskies, knowing what we are trying. However I wanted to have a bit of fun with a surprise…. So kept my fellow tasters “blind.”

Next, I introduced a “reference” pour.

I said nothing about it – merely to smell (not sip) with a request between each whisky to go back to the “reference” to recalibrate senses and compare.

It didn’t take long til they realized the “reference” wasn’t whisky at all but instead a sherry… with speculation it may be a “cream” or sweetened avatar rather than a dry fino or amontillado.

I later revealed that it was a Kingsgate Canadian sherry from KittlingRidge Ontario, Canada  described on the bottle as:

“A premium medium dry sherry, barrel aged in oak for extra smoothness.”

However this Kingsgate is now known as Apera with an explanation that it is medium dry Oloroso sherry “style” dessert wine. This 2013 nod from to EU regulations recognizes that a “true” Sherry can only come from the Spanish triangle.

Which tells you this funny little bottle, inherited from a friend who was leaving India, has been around for a few years…

As for what we tried? Not quite your usual fare…

Here is the progression we explored with our Sherry Unusual evening with whiskies from Ireland, India and Islay…. plus an extra special single cask:

Hyde #6 President’s Reserve 8 year single grain + 18 year single malt 46%

From Ireland, picked as an appetizer, the bottle stated it was finished in Sherry. What made it unusual is that it is a new brand, released to help promote the Hyde name before their Hibernia distillery in Cork is fully producing.

Paul John 7 Year (2009) Oloroso Sherry Cask Finish 57.4%

This was the biggest surprise – none imaged it could be from India! We were mighty impressed with what the folks from Paul John produced with four years in ex Bourbon then 3 years in ex Sherry casks. It also opened up beautifully with a bit of water.

BenRiach 12 year (2005/2018) Oloroso Sherry Cask No 5052 59.3%

A true class act. Selected just to be sure we had at least ONE proper single malt in our evening. Gorgeous and astounding how at 59.2%, not a drop of water was desired.

Kilchoman Loch Gorm (2010/2016) Sherry 46%

A pure peat monster tempered with 100% sherry from Islay. Not everyone’s tipple but certainly demonstrated how peat and sweet can combine!

Just click on the whisky links to find out even more about what we discovered!

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