Thursday, November 21, 2013

the Kilchoman 2013 Club Release, Second Edition

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The dream wakes you up. Hiking up the hill, you hear a small waterfall pour downwards. Steps walk in, and you find yourself floating in the air, moving towards the mystical spring. It glitters and sparkles in the moonlight and days and nights pass by. Warm fog surrounding, you wake up in the edge of cliff that strafes the deep gorge. This is still a dream, soft and strange. Is it you that is moving, or the earth that turns as you find yourself a new string of journey?

Kilchoman has released their second club edition. One year ago they had a true single cask release as their first edition of club release, it was sold out very rapidly. This year they decided to include 2000 bottles in their club release. The specs are: cask strength (58.2%), a vatting of 8 selected first fill 2008 bourbon barrels finished in 4 fresh Oloroso sherry butts. Casks are numbered 485-490 and 567+568. Distilled 10/2008 and bottled 4.11.2013. So how does this fare? Unlike usually, this blog entry has been written just when the bottle has been opened the first time. So it may change somehow in the following weeks.

The nose is sweet and deep like a candy store with bookshelves. Oils are surprisingly light and quick, but they do have complex characteristics. A bit like a shapeshifter ninja. The more you nose the glass, the more rich the result is. Smokiness combined with sweetness is a very delightful experience. And I think there is a knight hiding in there somewhere.

First mouthful is sweeeeeeet! Oily, soft, powerful and like sliding down the hill! Smokiness attacks you afterwards and the knight pulls out his sword and hits you a few times on your tongue. But the rich oil is overwhelming and the most enjoyable! Sweetness is real, and it is not bitter.

Finish is nicely smoky and peaty, with some fruits and sweets. The second mouthful reveals more smoke and I must admit, that for me this smoke is very different than what is usually encountered with Kilchoman. A different, less striking, and pleasant. Despite the cask strength, this one is very soft! The knight actually sheaths his sword and tactfully walks away. I predict, that he won’t be appearing after the bottle sits in my whisky case for  a few weeks.

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Aftertaste is nice and easy. Smokiness and peat control it, leaving some room for fruits but mostly it is about the smoke. The finish is long enough, but like most of this dram’s characteristics: it is not that prominent and boastful, instead it is like a spirit of a lost royal lady who will touch your cheek gently while you stare her amazed. If you nose the glass, once it is empty.. it is rich in smoke and peat combined with fruity features. Excellent!

What I find lacking, is that this does not wake up a strong story. It has poems, quotes and rhymes, but no real protagonist that would ride me to riddles and wake up the strange. Interesting, but not striking. Stylish, but not bolsterous. On the earth, not traveling the stars. Smoldering, not exploding. Depending on the mood and the situation, this might be just an excellent drink to serve the situation. Not to control it.

I will revisit this one later, but let’s just let it be for a few weeks first.

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