Perfect time for a Malt of the Month column having just returned from a three day cycle adventure around Kintyre, Islay and Arran visiting many of the great distilleries. Having visited ten distilleries and tasting around forty whiskies the tricky thing now is to pick my number one from the trip. A Bowmore 18yo Single Sherry Cask was pretty special, as was the Cask Strength Lagavulin 12yo but it was from the tiny family owned farm distillery at Kilchoman that had the resounding winner. After visiting six distilleries on day 1 and plenty more drams in the Port Charlotte hotel that evening the next morning involved a gentle peddle over the hill from Bruichladdich to Kilchoman where we were greeted with the greatest bacon roll I’ve ever had followed shortly by a sensational tour and a glass of new make spirit. Everything about this place makes me smile and it wasn’t the whisky that left me with a warm fuzzy feeling inside after spending a few hours at this special place and it’s hard to believe that Kilchoman have only been making whisky since 2005. Their Machir Bay bottling has always been one of my favourites but it was their Sanaig bottling that gave me the widest grin of all the whiskies that we tried. A blend of between 5 – 8 year old matured mainly in ex-Oloroso Sherry casks, this really is one of the great Islay Malts. Plenty of fruit with delicious earthy peat smoke and chocolate coated raisins. Kilchoman Sanaig (£55) Pop in for a wee taste sometime!
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