Kilchoman 100% Islay Barley Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
The only Islay distillery not on the coast — and the most westerly on the island — Kilchoman is reviving the tradition of farm distilling, and this limited edition release uses locally grown Optic barley malted at the distillery. Very creamy, with some stewed apple, green banana, and (when diluted) sponge cake mix. The smoke develops on the palate, adding an earthy note. Rich, with some clove and licorice on the finish. Well worth a look.
Ever want to see how these "local barley" bottles appreciate in price? Google a Springbank local barley bottle and check the eBay price. This 100% Islay barley offering stuff is nuts! Vibrant and zesty as hell, with loads of peat and a good drizzle of lemon oil. There's so much citrus in this malt that it's almost like blanco tequila with smoke! I've never had a whisky that tasted so close to agave spirit, but that's apparently the barley talking. This is punchier and more youthful than something like McCarthy's from Oregon, but less green at the same time. I've been surprised by the quality of Kilchoman's younger malts, and this is another malt that caught me off guard. Very fun and very different; you can tell there is something very unique happening flavorwise. Maybe it's because this is 100% Islay malt. Right now there are few, if any, that can say that on their bottle. (David Driscoll, K&L Spirits buyer)