Kilchoman Club Release 9th Edition announced

Kilchoman today announced the release of its annual exclusive edition for members of the Kilchoman Club. The 9th edition, limited to one bottle per person, will be available for purchase on the Kilchoman website from 2pm (UK time) on Wednesday 18 November 2020.

Kilchoman founder Anthony Wills is always keen to bottle something special, new or not yet so common for the annual club release. This year he selected four Oloroso Sherry Hogsheads with unpeated Kilchoman whisky.

Kilchoman has only used unpeated malt from the farm’s own barley sporadically over the years, producing a slightly larger batch (75 casks) in late summer 2012 when the kiln needed to peat the malt malfunctioned. Bottlings with “unpeated” Kilchoman whisky are therefore very rare, the first two were released in early 2020 (we reported) and to date only a handful have been released from both Oloroso Sherry Hogsheads and Bourbon Barrels.

With this year’s Club Release, Kilchoman now enables a somewhat larger circle of interested parties to taste “unpeated” Kilchoman whisky. Distilled in August 2012 from the farm’s own barley (100% Islay) of the Publican variety, the whisky was stored for 8 years in four fresh Oloroso Hogsheads and was bottled in November 2020. The yield was 1.311 bottles with an alcohol content of 56.2%. The bottles cost £99.60 + shipping.

Kilchoman usually writes “unpeated” in inverted commas or uses the term “slightly peated” because despite the use of unpeated malt, the whisky still has very slight peat smoke notes. It is well known that during distillation, the foreshots and feints separated from the middle run are collected in the “low wines and feints receiver” and distilled again during the next distillation cycles. As this receiver is not emptied in between the alternating distilling cycles with peated malt, the distillate still shows slight peat smoke notes.
It is only through the new and separately operated second pair of stills, which were put into operation a good year ago, that Kilchoman now has the possibility to produce genuine unpeated whisky in the future, but also to experiment with higher peating levels, etc.

“We only filled a handful of casks with unpeated 100% Islay spirit over the past 15 years and it was always going to be fascinating how they developed differently from the usually peated malt. Although faint notes of peated spirit from the previous sprit runs can be found in the whisky, it is overridden on the palate with strong spice, bold fruits and coastal flavours”  Anthony Wills, Kilchoman Founder and Master Distillery.