Kilchoman Machir Bay [Review/Life Lessons/Magic School Bus Ride]

Kilchoman Machir Bay

Hi all. Originally I had planned to not do some reviews for awhile. However my buddy had never been to a pub we found called Feather`s[1] in Toronto that has a lot of Scotches. And by a lot, I mean over 400 different drams. And since they have a selection that beats the LCBO, how could I not review two new drams I can only get at Feather’s? Anything less would cause my frugal mother to disown me.

I started off with Kilchoman Machir Bay, as I had (incorrectly) believed that it wouldn’t have the much of a peaty flavour… Spoiler: I was wrong. Extra Spoiler: REALLY wrong.

Kilchoman is youngest Islay in that they started production in June 2005. It’s the oldest in that it was built 124 years ago. Confused yet? Imagine how I felt when I ordered it.

Price: N/A. (Not available at the LCBO)

Abv: 46%

Region: Islay

Colour: One drop of yellow food colouring in water

Nose: Peat, charcoal, sea salt, chilies

Very light. I understand that Kilchoman is quite young, and the Machir Bay is a mixture of 3, 4, and 5 year, and thus the main thing I can smell is smoke, and it takes quite awhile to really get anything other than “peat” out of the nose. It was surprising, as I wasn’t actually expecting peat, but also because I (incorrectly) believed that a young Islay would have less peat, where was more so strong yet simplistic.

Here’s the life lesson people: Don’t assume a flavour based on your memory/preconceived notions, especially when you’ve been drinking…. granted if you need to learn that from my reviews, it may be time to reassess your life.

Taste: Grass, peat, lemon, sea salt, light strawberry, soap gum, chocolate

The initial grass and peat flavours follow suit with the nose, with the other flavours hidden beneath. At first I was worried that my attention was off as I was doing a tasting at a bar, or perhaps my buddy’s Glen Scotia 8 nose was throwing me off, or perhaps the flower on the table and the wonderful pot roast around me was the cause. After awhile I was able to dig some other flavours out, and hope that older versions step up their game up. That being said, it’s still a powerfully peaty dram for being made up of so many young Scotches.

Finish: Smoke, peach, little floral, tangy dirty earthworms, bacon, BBQ sauce

The earthworm was new. Don’t think of it as bad, rather as a good mixture of meat and earthiness. Seriously, it’s tasty. Or to ramble, think of it as a texture close to double smoked bacon (not fried) with an earthiness added to it.

Conclusion: I hope you’ve enjoyed my Magic School Bus tasting (“Take chances, make mistakes, get messy!”). This Scotch is a manly version of Secret Garden, like that episode of Community, only with MUCH more fire, and a lot less racism.

Okay, enough pop culture references. I think this is a great Scotch to try, as it’s a young Islay. If you are going to try a young Scotch, this would be the one to try. Don’t expect anything beyond peat, don’t expect too much complexity, just enjoy the camp fire.


Scotch review #14, Islay review #4, Whisky Network review #20

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