Kilchomania has tasted: 100% Islay Limited Release, 13th Edition

With the 13th edition of the 100% Islay Limited Release, Kilchoman returns to a pure bourbon cask maturation, as was the case with the early 100% Islay editions. It is a vatting of 44 predominantly first-fill ex-bourbon barrels that have matured for over 8 years in Kilchoman’s warehouses.

For the first time in 2018 and then from 2020-2022, sherry casks were also added to the 100% Islay batches, which was not only met with approval by Kilchoman fans.

The 13th edition is the second 100% Islay Limited Release to contain only whisky distilled from Publican barley (harvested in 2012, 2013 and 2014 at Rockside Farm). We had noticed a change in aroma and flavour in the 12th edition as a result of this: the fruitiness was now best described as tropical fruit (“pineapple note”) and no longer had the strawberry note that was so typical of the Optic barley variety grown in the early Kilchoman years.

Here are our tasting notes from this year’s bottling:

Very fresh and cereal-like on the nose, lemon and mirabelle plum, pineapple, vanilla, rye bread, subtle aromatic smoke, a hint of peppery oak, dried grass with a few herbs. Aromatic with a very distinctive cereal note. 90 points

Full and intense with malt grist, lots of spice (rye and pepper). The fruitiness is initially reminiscent of ripe pears, but pineapple and tropical fruits also come to the fore. Earthy and caramel notes are added, the smoke is now surprisingly strong and really salty and maritime. Quite fiery and edgy. 89 points

Medium length finish, very dry, vanilla custard and dry ashy smoke, crisps flavoured with salt and pepper, the oak brings a nice dry woody note. Can’t quite keep up with the nose and flavour but still damn good. 87 points

Another extremely tasty single farm single malt – Kilchoman’s “terroir whisky” if you want to call it that – intense, distinctive and simply delicious. The slightly less peated and fruity 100% Islay distillate comes into its own particularly well when matured in bourbon casks. In our opinion, no additional sherry casks are needed to “round off” the whole thing. Maturing in ex-bourbon casks also allows whisky lovers to appreciate the subtle differences in flavour between different types of barley, as these are not masked by casks with a strong flavour of their own (such as Sherry, Port or Madeira). For those who want to delve a little deeper into this matter, we recommend the numerous 100% Islay single cask releases bottled by Kilchoman, which are available to taste from all years of production of this variant (i.e. since 2008), in practically all ages up to 15 years and now even with different lengths of fermentation. 89 points


100% Islay Limited Release – 13th Edition 2023

Cask type: 1st Fill & Refill Bourbon Barrels

Casks Filled: 2013, 2014, 2015

Date Bottled: 08 & 09/2023

Age: 8 yo

Strength: 50,0 % abv

Phenol level: approx. 20 ppm

Barley variety: Publican

Number of bottles: 13.000

Bottle volume: 0,7 l / 0,75 l

Bottle codes:
100 24/08/23 23/128
100 25/08/23 23/128

5 060210 707026
8 920 32 045735 (USA)

Distribution: worldwide