Kilchoman 2012 Tequila Cask Finish TWE Exclusive

Posted 16 March 2022 by Matt / In Kilchoman
The Dramble reviews Kilchoman 2012 8 year old Tequila Cask Finish TWE Exclusive

Bottle Name: Kilchoman 2012 Tequila Cask Finish TWE Exclusive

ABV: 53.4%
Distillery: Kilchoman
Region: Islay Age: 8

The first of two concurrently released agave-influenced Kilchomans. Both distilled in 2012. Both initially matured for 8 years in fresh bourbon casks. And both finished for 7 months. The point of difference here being the species of agave and the manner in which it was processed - the two main (but not only) differentiators between tequila and mezcal.

The tequila cask side of the pair doesn’t specific whether the precursor liquid was reposado (“rested” for 2 to 12 months) or anejo (“aged” for 1 to 4 years) – though a little desk research into other agave releases from the distillery led me to believe it was likely the latter. Bottled at 53.4% ABV this release is available from The Whisky Exchange for £96.95 – or as a two-pack with the mezcal cask finish for £192. A mere £1.90 saving – though then qualifying for free postage.

Nose: Hot coals and brine sit alongside marker pens, sudocream and farmy peat smoke. Green apples and gooseberry fool join white chocolate whilst a leafy vegetalness develops into full-blow cooked agave. The addition of water presents ozone alongside ferns, bracken and a bowl of rice pudding.

Taste: Intense throughout. Melon, apple (with Jolly Rancher candy sweetness) and gooseberry open, before smoked paprika, chilli and pepper evolve into rocky smoke – BBQ coals, beach fires, wood smoke and burnt vegetation. Dilution presents an interesting transposition – candy necklace sweetness with residual minerality together with a glug of pineapple juice and scorched chalk.

Finish: Medium to long with dry wood smoke and mentholated oak.

The tequila cask influence is highly detectable on the nose – whereas on the palate, the full force of the Kilchoman subsumes the previously overt agave flavours, presenting them as intermingled within penetrating peat smoke. The outcome is a whisky that retains its distillery character but brings with it asides which are not fully expected, nor necessarily immediately obvious to comprehend. One I’d be happy to spend more time getting to know.

Review sample provided by The Whisky Exchange

Score: 86/100


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