[Quick Review] Kilchoman - Fino Sherry Matured 2020 46%

Picture courtesy of www.kilchomandistillery.com

Bottler: Kilchoman

Age: NAS
Distilled: n/a
Bottled: 2020
Cask: Fino casks previously used by Bodega Miguel Martin in Spain, 11 fresh butts and 1 refill butt
Abv: 46%
Unchillfiltered: Yes
Natural Colour: Yes
Nb of bottles: 10,500
Extra: This is part of Kilchoman's autumn release. The whisky I am reviewing is a sample sent to me by the distillery. I did not pay for it.

In the last couple of years, I have started to take a deeper interest in Sherry and its multiple versions. Lately, the whisky world seems to have gone crazy for sherry-cask aged/finished whisky, and the darker the better for certain people. These tend to be whiskies aged in ex-Oloroso or Pedro-Ximenes casks but not all sherry will impart a dark colour to the whisky, some like Fino or Manzanilla will keep single malts looking like white wine. However, they are not the most popular in the industry, that is why I have been very curious to try one of Kilchoman's latest releases, a whisky exclusively aged in ex-Fino sherry butts from Bodega Miguel Martin, 11 fresh ones and 1 refill.

Nose: Nice salinity combined with mixed herbs. Green olives and thyme. Quite chalky. There's also some lemon notes, apricot and vanilla and a whiff of smoke. Definitely not the Christmas cake sherry notes people are used to as Fino sherry is much drier than Oloroso and PX, but this is a fantastic start!

Palate: Salty ash, some nutty chocolate, green olives are still present with an almond creaminess. Some citric notes are dancing around too, mingling with some maritime peat. Some slight fruitiness but nothing too forward. This is definitely brinier than sweeter for me. Absolutely delicious though and what a change from your classic sherry-matured whisky!
Finish: Quite long and drying with oak, ash and sea salt. The briny olive theme is still here. Hints of salted caramel too.

With water: The nose becomes a little sweeter, less briny with some aniseed and honey. The palate is sweeter too with more chocolate and salted caramel, and some licorice. The finish loses a bit of olive and ash to gain in oak and sweetness.

Wow, what a dram and what a way to show what 'other types of sherry' can do to and most importantly can do for the whisky industry. If you're only after dried fruits and Christmas cake, you'll probably be disappointed but if you like exploring new flavour profiles or want the perfect apéritif drink, look no further! A absolutely fantastic release from Kilchoman. I think I might have to consider a whole bottle now...!
Slàinte all!

Thanks again to Kilchoman for providing me with the sample!


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