My first experience of Kilcohman was a the new spirit tasted very briefly in a bar and I was already rather worse for wear so I was intrigued when I saw a bottle Kilcohman Machir Bay in Marks and Spencer for forty pounds with its 46% and non chill filtered Islay loveliness, I mean what’s not to love?
Over the last year I’ve been getting more and more into Islay, and by that I mean peated, whisky, I’ve always love one or two but this year I’ve been trying out as many as I can and I’ve loved what I’ve had until, possibly, now.
Nose. This takes your breath away, smoke, chilli and burnt candy floss, which I find in a lot of heavily peated whisky, cardamon and clove, it smells like someones knocked over a lorry load of sweets onto not quite hard tarmac.
Tasting this takes me back to my first experience of Talikser 10, it’s not something that will ever leave you, it’s the sort of experience I image people who don’t like whisky have if they ever have a sip by mistake or for a bet. Smoke, heat and a chilli burn, not an alcohol burn, if it wasn’t so strong tasting it would be quite smooth. There’s also a nice sweetness and some herbal notes, with a little water it opens up, it’s still a beast but I got some nice fruits, some honey and a spice I’ve not been able to put my finger on for the month I’ve had this, maybe you’ll know, let me know please.
The finish is heat and smoke and lasts a fair while for such a young whisky, I have to admit it has beaten me on many a night.
Would I buy this again? I don’t think so, I know that to get the full blast of peat you want a younger whisky and perhaps the Machir Bay is a little too young for my palate, there’s a little too much power but I can’t wait to try their 10 year old which will be out in a few years.
This leads me on to another topic, can you really do a review of a whisky with a miniature? I don’t think you can, you can give some quick fire tasting notes suitable to twitter say but I really don’t think you can get the most from your whisky with two drams worth, I would have dismissed this almost instantly and whilst I’ll admit it still has me struggling at least now I’m half way through the bottle I have brought some tastes and smells.