[Review] Kilchoman - Loch Gorm 2019 46%

I don't know about you but with the lockdown I seem to have slightly changed my drinking habits as far as whisky in concerned. Yes, I have probably enjoyed a little more than I would have otherwise but also I have attended more online tastings both with friends or brand ambassadors. This means that even if I have bought a few new bottles, I have also purchased and received lots of samples.

Samples are great to get a glimpse into a whisky but I feel a bottle is the only way to truly enjoy (or not) its content. And checking out the article I released lately, most of them have been based on samples so I thought it was time for me to go back to a full bottle,

So today, we are heading back to Islay with a bottle I bought last year: Kilchoman Loch Gorm 2019. Kilchoman is no longer the youngest distillery on the island, that;s now Ardnahoe, but have opened its doors in 2005, it is still fairly young! That doesn't mean to say their range is limited and since 2015 and their 10th anniversary, we have started to see many more released for Kilchoman. Some are widely available like Machir Bay or Sanaig, some are a bit more limited like 100% Islay or Loch Gorm, which are yearly releases. 

My first bottle of Kilchoman was Machir Bay 2014 release and I remember not being its biggest fan after my first pour, too much of a farmyard vibe in my opinion. However with time, the whisky improved massively to the point where I was pretty gutted when I reached the last pour! Machir Bay is mostly influenced by ex-bourbon casks when Loch Gorm is exclusively aged in ex-oloroso casks.
As described on the card which comes attached to the neck of the bottle, Loch Gorm 2019 is "a vatting of twenty oloroso sherry butts filled in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 211, bottled in Spring 2019". So we should be expecting smoke and fruit sweetness, which sounds like a great start!

The Loch Gorm is bottled at 46%, unchillfiltered and without colouring added. The colour is quite amber.

Nose: Fruity, ash, wet campfire. It is herby too with coriander notes. Raisins soaked in rum, oak, dried fruit, hints of salt and chocolate. Not a bad start!

Palate: Citrus fruit (grapefruit bitterness), dark fruit, ash again, smoke. The herbal/coriander vibe is still present on the palate. After a few seconds in your mouth, it becomes meatier (smoky meat), more savoury, earthy, with some olive tapenade notes, wrapped in dried fruit sweetness (raisins)

Finish: Drying, ash, cold smoke like when you have been sitting by a smoky campfire and you still get the smell on your clothes the following morning, charcoal, oak, black pepper and still some meaty/earthy notes with a little sweetness.

With water: The nose gets a little meatier ans sweeter with some honey glazed bbq meat. The palate is sweeter too but with some sour notes. It is still ashy but goes a little too thin. The finish is still drying and a little meatier too.

All in all, I really enjoy this Loch Gorm. It is a very good ashy, smoky, herby, sherried Islay dram. I personally would not really add water to it, and if I want to be fully honest, I wish Kilchoman would bottle Loch Gorm at its natural cask strength, especially considering the price point it is sitting at. I get a lot from this whisky, however I can't help but think I would get way more without the addition of any water. Just a thought...!

Slàinte all!


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