Kilchoman, a farm distillery on Islay in Scotland, has introduced for its most recent release a single malt that saw finishing time in 6,000 liter Portuguese red wine vats.
The new Kilchoman Casado, according to those behind it, is a limited edition bottling initially aged in fresh bourbon barrels for 6 years before 38 casks were selected and married together for 2 years in two 6,000 litre Portuguese red wine vats. An experimental offering, it was the idea of Kilchoman founder Anthony Wills.
“The red wine marriage gives the whisky layers of red fruit and spices which complement the vanilla and butterscotch influence of the bourbon barrels beautifully,” said Wills in a prepared statement.
For Kilchoman, in recent years “barley variety and yeast influence have been discussed in depth” by them, but wood management was also obviously of interest. To this end, Wills is said to have “wanted to try something out of the norm and purchase[d] these 6,000 litre red wine vats at char level 2 and 3, each giving a slightly different impact on the whisky finishing inside, then marrying them together after a longer than usual finish.”
The end result of Casado is a 12,900 bottle offering, heavily peated at 50 ppm and with an 46% ABV. Official tasting notes for this whisky are below.
- Nose: An opening note of intense campfire smoke balanced with ripe summer stone fruits; peach, plum and cherry. Deep notes of marzipan become the focus combined with layered maritime notes.
- Palate: The red wine vatting brings pepper and spice on the first taste. Dry, salty peat smoke sits on the palate, yet fruit notes of apricot and lemon find their way through.
- Finish: A long finish which brings a hot, spicy character from the marriage in Portuguese red wine vats. Stewed, cooked fruit notes bring a sweet-jam profile providing an on-going sweetness that the classic Kilchoman smoke balances beautifully.