Distiller: Kilchoman. Region: Islay. ABV: 46%. No age statement (about 4-5 years). Price: $55-70.
Kilchoman is Islay’s youngest distillery. It opened in 2005, and quickly began winning converts with its young but surprisingly rich and supple single malts. The flagship is the excellent Machir Bay, which is mostly first-fill bourbon-matured, with a little sherry finish thrown in at the end.
The Sanaig, a new release in 2016, ups the sherry-matured component to 50%. No age statement, though it’s around 4-5 years old, and it’s bottled at a healthy 46% ABV.
The nose on the Sanaig is a mix of tart, sweet, and salty notes. Sea
breeze. Blackberry crumble. Salted caramel. The peat keeps itself fairly well concealed. The palate is sweet and buttery: blueberry pie filling, burnt butter crust. Blackberry cordial. Very mild clove. Peanut brittle. Mild toasty peat emerges bit by bit. The finish recalls the end of an old fashioned: the echo of the sweet bourbon intertwines with bitter oak and aromatics.
Beautiful compliment to the Machir Bay, and for me, a clear success. If you’re looking for a new Islay, the Sanaig’s a great place to look.
Slàinte, friends! – BO
A company representative graciously provided a sample for review. As always, our opinions are 100% our own.