Kilchoman distillery, located on Rockside farm a few miles to the west of Bruichladdich, began production in June 2005. They are very small, producing around 100,000 litres per year (in contrast to Caol Ila, which produces around 6 million litres) and everything about them is authentic and traditional. They grow their own barley, perform their own floor malting and generally do everything on site. Machir Bay sits a mile or two away from the distillery and is as stunning (and empty) a beach as you’ll ever find on this planet.
This Machir Bay release is a vatting of three, four and five year old single malt, with the four year old being finished in oloroso sherry butts for eight weeks prior to bottling.
The Whisky Tasting Club Notes:
Nose: A very different act to the Bowmore, with red currant and blueberry mixing it with a Schnapps like spirit intensity and vaguely burnt oily dust, like you used to get off the Hornby train control box.
Palate: Initially pepper and vanilla shortbread, then the pungent peat, iodine, chlorine and pepper are gradually cranked up. Throughout it all, a bitter vanilla stays the course.
Finish: Full, intense and excellently balanced between fruit, pepper and peat.
Retails for around £40