Two things to say on this:
First off, $25 from each bottle of this Scotch sold goes towards the MS Society of Canada. Not going to say anything other than I’m happy they are helping. I have not researched the charity, nor have any information on it, however (and this won’t come as a surprise) I am always all for helping people trying to help fight against Multiple Sclerosis. If anyone has any inside information on if the charity is great or not so great I’m all ears.
Second: I’m always wondering about how Kilchoman will age. I’ve reviewed a decent amount of Kilchoman, I’m not an expert on them, and I’m always curious where they’ll go next.
Enter Kilchoman 14 2006 MS Society YYC Cask, the oldest Kilchoman I’ve been able to get my mitts on. It’s ex-Bourbon barrel (which is how I like my Kilchoman), on the older side of 14-years-old, is an Alberta exclusive, and was done with the help of the MS Society of Calgary as well as Gold Medal marketing, who I recently opined about as people who pick decent whisky.
But nobody is perfect: Sure, it’s cask strength and interesting, but what if the yeast is like Octomore, and better when it’s under 6 years old?
Let’s see how this tastes, shall we?
Price: $225.00 CAD
Distilled: May 24, 2006
Bottled: March 15, 2021
Cask type: Ex-bourbon barrel
Cask number: #78/2006
Total amount of bottles: 216
Colour: 7.5Y 9/6
Nose: Caramel, dry pear, peat/anise, cinnamon, soap, pineapple
Lots of sweets. Interesting complexity beyond the changes in peat. More fruit, some tropical notes.
Very different from younger, earthier, less fruit forward Kilchomans. So far so good.
Taste: Ash, Skor bar, salted caramel, coal
So you’ve got your smoke/coal/ash/however you’ve tasted those things in the past notes here. It’s an earthy smoke? Maybe? Or a woody smoke? Woody, let’s go with that. It’s not like peated Highlands.
Also lots of toffee and salted caramel. If Willy Wonka had a torture chamber based on caramel this whisky is what he’d drink while watching back the tape on it. I’m enjoying that aspect here. Sad there’s no fruit though. It would have launched it up higher, and I’m not just missing it due to my skurvy.
Finish: Anise, buttered toast, red licorice, pear, pineapple
Spice, well done cereal and fatty notes. The huge amount of caramel from before is gone, the fruit is back, the smoke is mostly just spice and it’s a tad muddled. Oddly I somewhat wish they had given this a bit more time.
Conclusion: Full on caramel bomb in the taste and nose that goes to a frustrating rougher finish that doesn’t have the complexity of the rest.
This is nice. It’s good to have proof that Kilchoman can be better after aging longer. It’s in no way perfect. It is a nice dram to have. It’s for a good cause (again, if anyone has any information denoting any issues with the group please tell me so that I can update this). I overall enjoyed it.
Scoring it? Frankly the taste hits a few notes, the complexity is all over the place, and it’s just okay. That’s alright.
Scotch review #1456, Islay review #388, Whisky Network review #2151