Strength: 46 %
The nose promises dirty, oily peat, and the drink delivers it all the way through the palate and finish. A peat monster, with the peat style halfway between Laphroaig and Bruichladdich: sod and farm, but also some brine and iodine. The peat flavor is tinged with licorice and a hint of oak, and the sticky mouth-feel owes a lot to being non chill-filtered. I would guess the age to be 10 years except for the finish, which is a little rough and hot with ashes and smoke, but is nevertheless lingering and pleasant enough. Perhaps not the most complex whisky, but a great drink for peat-heads, and with its arrival I declare the Big Three of Islay peat monsters (Laphroaig, Lagavulin, and Ardbeg) to now be the Big Four. 86 points (B).
Kilchoman Winter 2010
Strength: 46 %
The peat is pulled back a hair but better balanced with soft marshmallow and oak. Like the Summer release, the Winter also has a great oily texture and tastes mature beyond its years. This was my favorite dram of Julio's Liquors' 2011 Whisk(e)y Grand Tasting, and the combination of big peat and mouth-coating texture is reminiscent of other great Islay whiskies such as Ardbeg 10 or Old Master's Caol Ila 12. The marshmallow is a great flavor to balance the peat here, and unlike the Summer release I do not get licorice or as much dirt. As above, some youth pops through on the finish. Altogether, the best 3-year-old whisky I've ever had! 90 points (A-).
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