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“Because you can't buy happiness... but you can buy whisky and that's pretty much the same thing”

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Kilchoman Feis Ile 2014 Review

By Miguel in Tasting , Kilchoman

Hello there! Yet another peated delight. This time a Kilchoman from Feis Ile 2014.

“Pure Kilchoman! A delightful bottled pleasure”

Kilchoman Feis Ile 2014 Release
A special Kilchoman bottling produced specially for the 2014 Islay whisky festival, it was matured for around 5 years, initially in first-fill bourbon casks before spending a finishing period in a Fino Sherry butt. And it's good. Really very good indeed. The outturn was 525 cask strength bottles

This dram has a white wine-like color.

Nose (90): more than average. honey, peat, vanilla, toffee, citrus, spices, candies.

Palate (90): powerful, oily. honey, peat, citrus, salt, barley, spices.

Finish (90): longer than average. honey, peat, salt.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Kilchoman Feis Ile 2014 Release with 90 points over 100.

I love it! When I die, drop me in a cask of Kilchoman! :)

Kilchoman 2009 PX Finish Single Cask AbbeyWhisky Exclusive Review

By Miguel in Tasting , Kilchoman

I have finally had time to write the review of this Kilchoman from Abbey Whisky. I really love Kilchoman malts since I tasted their first bottle a few years ago, here we have a five years old Kilchoman aged in bourbon casks for most of its life to end being finished in a PX cask for four months. But before I review the whisky you must know that I am not really fond of PX finished whiskies… I really prefer Oloroso aged… but… anyway… let’s try this.

“Fantastic Kilchoman, and that is said by a person that really doesn't enjoy PX whiskies. Add a drop of water and let it breathe a bit to reveal its true shape. Delicious!”

Kilchoman 2009 PX Finish Single Cask / AW Exclusive
Established in 2005, Kilchoman distillery holds true to tradition, its one of only a handful of distilleries to still practice floor maltings; they even grow their own barley! Weve always greatly admired Islay's farm distillery and what it stands for, so to team up and release this wonderful dram makes us incredibly proud indeed!

Cask #285/09 has been matured for over four and a half years in a fresh bourbon barrel before being transferred to a Pedro Ximnez cask for a further four months maturation. The PX finish on this release works a treat, softening things down a little but still allowing the dram to hold the traditional taste & characteristics you would expect from a Kilchoman whisky of this age. A perfect combination.

This dram has a amber-like color.

Nose (91): more than average. peat, honey, cocoa, spices, cinnamon, fruits, citrus, salt.

Palate (90): powerful, oily. peat, honey, cocoa, salt, malt, wood, pears, chocolate.

Finish (90): longer than average. peat, honey, citrus.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Kilchoman 2009 PX Finish Single Cask / AW Exclusive with 90 points over 100.

Miguel says

Wooo! Awesome dram. I definitively can recommend you this Kilchoman if you like peated whiskies as much as me.

Is there anything better than Kilchoman?

By Miguel in Tasting , Kilchoman

There are great moments in one person’s life… and tasting Kilchoman is one of these :) #serious

kilchoman 2013

The Kilchoman stand was strangely empty on The Whisky Show 2013 so I went there to get good whisky with a complete lack of social interaction. They had there the whole range of bottles they placed for sale on 2013 plus a special single cask bottling for The Whisky Show that was for sale short after the show at The Whisky Exchange.

So these were the whiskies I tasted

Read the full story »

WTF 004: The Older, the Better, right?

By Miguel in Tasting , Kilchoman , North British , Glengoyne , Glenglassaugh , Glenrothes

Hello friends,

Welcome to another blind tasting session with lots of interesting surprises. Three really old whiskies followed by two new whiskies introduced recently. This is exactly the other way round I like to do tastings but surprisingly I was shockingly impressed with the little ones.


So, in case you missed it, WFT Tasting sessions ( like this and this one ) is just a way to force myself into tasting stuff that I wouldn’t otherwise… I love young peated whiskies, mid age sherried monsters and those lovely very old bourbon cask matured whiskies. So I tend to taste more of this stuff and less of other proposal that are quite interesting but go under my radar.

Soooo, worry no more. I just introduced my hand blindly on the samples’ box and grabbed four or five random, and I mean random!, samples of whisky, bourbon, rum, vodka… Life is like a chocolate box, you never know what you are gonna get.

So, the whiskies…

Read the full story »

Macho-peat tasting: Kilchoman, Caol Ila and Lagavulin

By Miguel in Tasting , Caol Ila , Lagavulin , Kilchoman , Ardmore

In my quest to empty the samples queue, I have chose today some macho peated whiskies and an Ardmore.
Like a champion!

Some Kilchoman, some Lagavulin, one Caol Ila and one Ardmore. What else can a man ask to be happy?! ( Yes, yes, but it isn’t sold in a bottle )

I am really excited with the Ardmore because it is my first from this distillery, and I am a big fan of Kilchoman whiskies… so wild and salvage!.

I wanted to taste the Lagavulin 21yo against some real whiskies to see how it measure against them. On its own I was quite happy with it, although not happy enough to pay £350 for it.

Read the full story »

TWE Whisky Show 2012: What I couldn't taste [Part 4]

By Miguel in Laphroaig , Cooley , Chivas , Johnnie Walker , The Macallan , Dewar , Penderyn , Bunnahabhain , Compass Box , Monkey Shoulder , Glenfiddich , The Balvenie , Kilchoman , Highland Park , Bowmore , Yoichi , Nikka , Suntory , Balblair , Redbreast , Glenfarclas , Connemara , Ichiro , Rosebank , Benriach , Glendronach , Old Pulteney , Dalmore , Glen Garioch , Big Peat , Glenglassaugh , Glenrothes , Maker's Mark , Hibiki , Four Roses , Glencadam , Wemyss , Douglas Laing

This post continue from TWE Whisky Show [Part 3]

The Whisky Exchange Whisky Show 2012 took place at October 6th and 7th and although it has been a great experience it has been a short one. With over 450 whiskies to taste and just barely six hours ahead it was impossible to taste them all.

What I couldn’t taste

This post is just a set of photos of what I couldn’t taste. Sorry, people… I can write about this because I get sad… so great stuff that I had to skip… *sniff*

I visited Compass Box stand for saying hi to Chris and I take a few photos with the people on the show.

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The Peat Paradise: Islay from Bunnahabhain to Port Ellen

By Miguel in Tasting , Recommended , Featured , Laphroaig , Caol Ila , Lagavulin , Port Ellen , Ardbeg , Bunnahabhain , Kilchoman , Bowmore , Bruichladdich

Islay is an island in the west of Scotland that produce a style of single malts that you either love or hate: peated whiskies.

Gregor Haslinger Islay photo
(Photo on top of one of the Jura Pups looking south overseeing the Isle of Islay by Gregor Haslinger)

You may wonder why such an small island have so many distilleries and I hope this article enlighten you and share with us the passion for peated whiskies.
I have tasted already many of the whiskies created at Islay but I really wanted to taste them all in a row so I can compare them side by side. I hate when I taste blindly a whisky and I can’t decide if it is a Caol Ila ( most are ) or an Ardbeg.

So come with me in this trip around Islay in nine drams. Oh man! I am sure you can smell the smoke from there.

Read the full story »

Kilchoman Inaugural 100% Islay Cask Strength Tasting note

By Miguel in Tasting , Kilchoman

“The first Kilchoman that I taste that shows signs of its real age. Anyway it is a good whisky but not as good as the rest of them.”

Kilchoman 100%Islay Cask Strength
The first ever 100% Islay release from Kilchoman, this is the incredibly rare natural cask strength edition. It was bottled from casks 100 thru' 103/08, and there are 1,060 numbered bottles, each coming in a very handsome wooden box.

This dram has a white wine-like color.

Nose (92): more than average. sweet, honey, peat, liquorice, vanilla.

Palate (90): smooth, powerful, oily. peat, honey, floral, citrus, liquorice, salt, wood.

Finish (90): longer than average. peat, a little sweet, floral.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Kilchoman 100%Islay Cask Strength with 91 points over 100.

Kh1 Elements of Islay Tasting note

By Miguel in Tasting , Kilchoman

“Like peat? Like smoke on whisky? Like bacon? Say no more, this Kilchoman is your whisky.”

The first independent bottling of whisky from this, the youngest (as of 2011) distillery on the island of Islay. This is a crisp young whisky, with bags of clean smoke and age beyond its years.

This dram has a white wine-like color.

Nose (90): more than average. peat, smoke, bacon, earthy, citrus, honey. Really exciting. This is a masterclass about different kind of smoke profiles.

Palate (91): smooth, powerful, oily. peat, iodine, honey, citrus, grass. It is more maritime than the usual Kilchoman.

Finish (90): longer than average. peat, smoke, iodine.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Kh1 with 90 points over 100.

Better than sex: One year of whisky blogging!

By Miguel in News , Featured , The Macallan , Kilchoman , Highland Park

Too much of anything is bad, but too much of good whiskey is barely enough.

What the hell! No way. But it has been a quite interesting and fun year. It looks as it was yesterday but this blog has turned one year today.

Stripper cake

Only a year but it has been a great travel of personal discovery: whisky, history, facts, geography and friends.

Before I started blogging I was already collecting malt whiskies but I wasn’t really interested in how they tasted. One day I decided to open one miniature of Compass Box Spice Tree and I was impressed about how good it was. Then another, and another, and another. And just one day I decided to write tasting notes about what I was drinking. I could have do it the way other great whisky blogs does, but being myself engineer (Dilbert! You are not alone!) I preferred the hard way: write tasting notes so a computer can process them and do interesting things with it. Just a few months later I created whisky-o-matic, which is really fun if you haven’t tried yet!.

I have learnt lots of things about how whisky is made, how barley is grown, how water is chosen based in its characteristics. I have learnt a lot about ageing of whisky and how the wood influence the final result, with two bottles of a great Laphroaig 10 years old Cask Strength sacrificed in the altar of knowledge.

I still have to improve my world geography but now I know where Islay, Orkney, Kentucky and Hokkaido are situated.

And I have known great people related to whisky: from bloggers like Galg of WhiskyIsral, Steve of The Whisky Wire, Ruben of Whisky Notes, John Hansell of MaltWhisky Advocate, Billy Abbott of Billy’s Booze Blog, John Campbell of Laphroaig for their invitation to Laphroaig Live 2010, Richard Barr who shared with me a whole Whiskylive show. Special thanks for the chaps at Master of Malt for their support during this year.

Crying already? Feeling emotional?
Ok, so let’s get back to the crude bare numbers! :)

Naked Statistics

This year can be resumed in a few numbers and two or three great posts.

  • 1 year
  • 365 days
  • 1 whisky show ( hey! I have had to fight for that single one a lot! )
  • 619 bottles of whisky bought ( don’t panic! Most of them are samples! )
  • 372 tasting notes written.
  • 356 posts published.
  • 150K visits. ( and growing! )
  • Tasted Macallan 30 years old Fine Oak.
  • Bought a bottle of Highland Park Earl Haakon.
  • Drink Kilchoman Inagural Release.
  • A new son ordered.
  • Built a whisky library for reference.

Sensual promises for the future

Those are my promises for the future.

  • 2 whisky shows ( I must be at The Whisky Show 2012 and Maltstock 2012. At least! )
  • Less whisky bought. ( My wife is going to kill me. And the worst thing is that she may be right about it )
  • More tasting notes.
  • More and better articles about distilleries.
  • Better whisky-o-matic suggestions.
  • More friends, more social. ( Did you know you can submit your own tasting notes for whisky-o-matic now? )

Thank you all for this great year.

Yours sincerely,