KILCHOMAN DISTILLERY, 'MACHIR BAY' SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Change and innovation don't generally come to Islay, and that's kind of the point; it's the island's raison d'etre. What was, is. Pedigree reigns. Tradition endures. But as you may have heard — their story has positively rocked the world of spirits — a brash upstart, bursting with energy and ideas, has announced itself.
Kilchoman Distillery is the first to open on Islay in 124 years, and the good news is, that upstart ambition isn't just idle talk; it's been backed up, and big time. At this year's International Wine & Spirit Competition, their Machir Bay was just awarded 98 points — a jaw-dropping accomplishment for a relative babe in the game. "Mossy peat, smoke, BBQ sweetcorn, honeyed oak and sweet fruit," the judges wrote. "Deeply flavourful, rich palate culminating in a fine oak-laced finish. Superb."
Competition to acquire this signature peated single malt has been fierce, and we are thrilled to report that we have secured a small allocation for our Concierge Family.
Folks, if you love your peat, you don't want to miss this one.
And can we try to tempt you more?
Unlike with the legendary names of Islay, Kilchoman is still trying to build its name and audience, which means you can get your hands on this marvelous single malt for ... wait for it ... less than $60 a bottle!
The distillery is the vision of a man named Anthony Wills. An industry lifer, he had been looking to start a project of his own when he and his wife, Kathy, happened upon a bunch of old farmhouses in Islay, in early 2005. That was the moment of launch; later that year, the distillery filled its first barrel; four years later, it released its first bottle. The goal has never wavered. Then as now, Kilchoman grows its own barley on site, harvesting, fermenting, and then distilling it to create its grain-to-glass whiskies.
Thus, what Kilchoman might lack in gravitas and tradition compared to its island brethren, it works hard to make up for with the artisanal purity of its method.
As you may have intuited, that method involves so much more than merely growing their own barley. Distilling is done twice through the distillery's four pot stills (two wash stills and two spirits stills). Aging is done in both ex-bourbon barrels and Oloroso sherry butts. There is never any chill filtering and no color added, which means that what you are getting in the glass is as near to a barrel-tasting experience as you can get.
Don't let the lightness of the color fool you. It might suggest straw, but this is a sneakily intense dram, akin, almost, to a Lagavulin in its depth and concentration. And, as you would expect (and hope for) coming from Islay, it packs a nice peaty punch. But the pleasures don't stop there. On the nose, you'll find some notes of stone fruits and citrus, particularly lemon, along with a waft of vanilla. On the palate, the grain expresses itself via a gentle maltiness, and you are carried through to the finish by a wonderful streak of minerally brine that is characteristic of some of the best whiskeys from the island.
We reveled in it for hours, and we can't wait for you to take that first sip and see for yourself. But as I said, our allocation is not large, and its reputation already precedes it. So, hurry!
*Offer NOT valid in-store. This offer is made pre-arrival, with wines estimated to be delivered to your preferred store in Summer 2022. With the supply chain issues that we are seeing globally, there may be some unforeseen delays which could affect the ETA. All sale prices are the lowest available at Total Wine & More and ONLY valid through Concierge Sales. No further discounts or coupons may be applied. Offer not valid in MI, NC, NY, TN, VA, and limited stotes in GA. This offer is for ONE WEEK, or until sold out, and will expire on Monday, May 30, 2022.