Day Six in the Whisky Advent Calendar

*In this series, I’m working my way through the 2015 Master of Malt Whisky Advent.

kilchoman-machir-bay-scotchKilchoman is an Islay whisky. I discovered it first because I am lucky enough to live in Austin, TX where we have Specs. And Specs has enough pull in the distribution industry to get bottlings of scotch made specifically for Specs.

One of the first I tried along those lines was the Kilchoman Specs Single Cask special edition. It was young and aggressive, but I really enjoyed it.


Kilchoman is the first new distillery on Islay in 124 years. Located on the western side of the Island, it began production in 2005 and had their first release in 2009 bottling 3 yr old whisky. This run uses bourbon and sherry barrels. The Machir variation was first released in 2012, and released each year since.


Peat is first on the nose of the Machir Bay Kilchoman. That’s one thing I love about Islay. I find that regular scotch drinkers gravitate to heavier whiskies the way that beer aficionados gravitate to more and more hops. Maybe it’s a weakness, but it’s a weakness I’m glad to have.

The smoke on the nose is surrounded with vanilla. No doubt a gift from the bourbon gods.

This Kilchoman line is dramatic, and this is no exception. But the combination of the bourbon and sherry casks lends a nuance to this that some of the others lack. You can immediately tell why it won best in class after its release.

It reminds me of an Ardebeg or some of the special bottles released by Port Charlotte like the “The Peat Project” option, but it’s a bit more mild.

Overall, I’m really looking forward to what happens with Kilchoman starts releasing older expressions. I’ll bet a 12 yr Kilchoman will be a really marvel.