Kilchoman Loch Gruinart
Loch Gruinart is Kilchoman’s first whisky for the supermarket, so to speak. It has been distributed exclusively by the French supermarket chain Auchan for a few weeks now. Completely untypical for Kilchoman, but typical for a supermarket spirit, the information about the whisky is extremely vague. The buyer only learns that the whisky was matured both in European and American oak casks. The age is not given, the alcohol strength is 46%.
According to Peter Wills, Loch Gruinart is a vatting of predominantly bourbon barrels with some sherry cask influence from both oloroso and PX. These casks are slightly younger than those in Machir Bay and Sanaig.
I find it remarkable that Kilchoman has “burnt” the name Loch Gruinart for a whisky that is only available regionally. After Machir Bay, Loch Gorm, Coull Point, Saligo Bay and Sanaig the geographical highlights near the distillery are practically used up. I would have rather expected the name Loch Gruinart for the upcoming 3rd General Release of Kilchoman. Now the phenomenon arises that the probably most unknown Kilchoman bottling bears the best known geographical name. A circumstance that is also exploited by resourceful traders on the internet who like to charge 4-5 times the price for the cheapest of the Kilchoman whiskies – at Auchan it was on offer for 29.90 euros at times (!).
I would advise every Kilchoman fan not to pay 120 euros for a bottle of Loch Gruinart on e-bay, it’s better to go on holiday in France after COVID. I’m sure your partner will be happy, too, because you don’t have to reveal what the real reason for the trip is…
Update June 2021:
In the meantime, Loch Gruinart is also offered in other French supermarkets, but according to Kilchoman it will continue to be marketed exclusively through supermarkets in France. This means that the (rare) offers from French online retailers are secondary market sales.
Cask type: Ex-Bourbon Barrels, Oloroso & PX Sherry Casks
Phenol level: 50 ppm
Bottle volume: 0,7 l
LGT 09.09.20 20/140
LGT 24.11.20 20/150
LGT 10.12.20 20/150
Distribution: France, Auban-exclusive