Kilchoman Machir Bay (2012 edition) Islay Single Malt Whisky 750ml

SKU #1095373

It's no secret that we're big fans of Kilchoman distillery here at K&L. Our recent visit to the distillery on Islay really opened our eyes to the incredible job they're doing. Kilchoman is a tiny operation, producing on one still and malting whatever they can inside their humble barn. Because of their small scale, their cost of production is higher and prices for their whisky have not been inexpensive. But having tasted the new-make spirit right off the still, I can firmly say that, in my opinion, there is no higher quality peated whisky being produced anywhere else. Kilchoman's hands-on style and attention to detail make a world of difference. Every release has been better than the last, albeit extremely limited in supply. All that said, this small farm is finally introducing a full-time, affordable, house recipe, rather than another pricey single barrel release. The Machir Bay is not only incredibly delicious, it's a huge victory for a distillery that had to overcome huge obstacles. At $54, this is what Kilchoman fans have been waiting for: incredibly delicate, finely-tuned flavors of soft smoke, sea salt, creamy vanilla and butterscotch. It's a more subdued version of their high-toned barrel expressions, but it's still very much Kilchoman. Think Bruichladdich meets Lagavulin. Think possible best whisky of 2012. (David Driscoll, K&L Spirits buyer)

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Price: $53.99

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By: Ryan Woodhouse |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 6/15/2012  | Send Email
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"I didn’t know what to expect tasting this scotch for the first time. A young whiskey of 5 years or less in wood for $50+? After tasting it however it has completely changed the way I think about all distilled spirits. This whiskey is so detailed, complex and complete it makes me question whether the world of 15yr, 18yr, 21yr, Ximénez Sherry, Oloroso Sherry, Bourbon, 1st fill, 2nd fill, Super Tuscan, d’Yquem etc, etc, is all just fluff of people trying to make their average distillate taste better than someone else’s. It seems Kilchoman have the magic recipe and careful craftsmanship to make astoundingly good scotch that needs very little “dressing up” at all. The Machir Bay takes hints of salinity from it’s name sake, soft vanilla highlights backed by exotic spice and sweet red fruits. Elegantly smoky, perfectly balanced and long on the finish, moreish and very hard to put down!"

By: Jeff Garneau |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 6/6/2012  | Send Email
While every whisky drinker has their favorite, cherished bottle of some obscure single malt produced by a now defunct distillery, what we all really crave of course is that great, affordable bottle we can drink with pleasure whenever we wish. I visited Scotland one summer many years ago and recall fondly a small local pub just outside of Edinburgh. The place was warmed in the winter by peat fires. In the heat of August no fires were lit, but after many years the peat smoke had permeated the very stones of the building, lending the atmosphere a subtle, smoky character. I was reminded of that pub the moment I put my nose in a glass of the newly released Kilchoman Machir Bay Islay Single Malt Whisky. Smoke, citrus, and honey on the nose. A rich texture on the palate, surprising in such a young whisky. At once both delicate and robust, subtle yet assertive, this is an Islay malt that you can happily drink every day, either straight up or over ice. If you have enjoyed Ardbeg or Bruichladdich or Caol Ila in the past, you owe it to yourself to try this new, very affordable Kilchoman bottling. You'll be glad you did.

By: Keith Wollenberg |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 6/6/2012  | Send Email
How do they do it? I expect whiskey with 3-5 years of barrel age to be rather raw and coarse. But this is peaty, complex and very fine and elegant in texture. Hats off to the master distillers in charge of this product. Who knows how they do it, but we're delighted they did.

By: David Driscoll |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 6/5/2012  | Send Email
I maxed out the space in the tasting notes portion, so I'll add a bit more info here. The Machir Bay is a vatting of 60% of 3 year,35% of 4 year and 5% of 5 year old single malt, matured in fresh bourbon barrels from Buffalo Trace, Kentucky. The 4 year old portion was finished in Oloroso Sherry butts for 2 months. I can't stress enough how fantastic this whisky is. It's not for the super-esoteric whisky geeks, this is as accessible as peated whisky gets - soft and gentle, yet loaded with smoke, with a high-toned cinnamon finish, and a mouthful of butterscotch when it's all said and done. It's absolutely stunning and there's no amount I wouldn't buy of it. If we could buy 2,000 cases I would. I wouldn't be surprised if this turns out the be the best whisky of 2012. For more info on this fantastic distillery check out the write up from our visit this past May: http://spiritsjournal.klwines.com/klwinescom-spirits-blog/2012/5/18/scotland-day-8-bruichladdich-kilchoman.html

 By: Gregory Maffett |  Review Date: 7/22/2013 
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Just tasted this at the distillery 3 days ago. Very surprised at the progress made in 4-5 years of aging. My taste preference is generally high phenol in sherry casks with 18-25 years of aging. Was impressed by how balanced and smooth this was at the age.

 By: William |  Review Date: 12/15/2012 
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OK, when David raved about this I figure it was a chance to "calibrate" his tastes against mine. I had to try it. First tasting - disappointed. Second tasting, still not to my tastes. Put it by the front door to send it on its way. Decided to try it one more time, and three times the charm! Hard to explain but I'm told this is not uncommon. In any case it is now one of my favorites, I completely get what he was "on" about. This is an amazing single malt, not for everyone perhaps, but it sure does come around once you give it a chance!

 By: Ross Myran |  Review Date: 8/5/2012 
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Very nice.

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Malt

Country:

Scotland

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