Kilchoman Sanaig smacks of smoke-infused, dark chocolate-covered raisins.
Kilchoman (pron. Kil-Ho-Man), is the first distillery to be established on Islay in over 124 years. It was started in 2005 by Anthony Wills, who ran an independent single cask bottling company for 8 years and was immersed in building the ultimate farm distillery where he’d take Whisky back to its roots.
The Kilchoman Distillery is unique for several reasons. It's one of only six Scotch distilleries to carry out traditional floor maltings, and one of only two to do the malting, distilling, maturing and bottling on site. Furthermore, they even grow 30% of their Barley right there on the farm. It’s also one of the smallest Scotch distilleries, with an annual output of 120,000 liters. If you like "small batch" and "artisanal" Spirits, when it comes to Single Malts this is as good as it gets. They've been rocking it ever since they started, and they are racking up the awards to prove it.
The first thing you have to always remember is that Kilchoman is — without a doubt — an Islay, with all that this entails. If you are new to the world of Whisky, this means that the malted barley is dried by or exposed to peat smoke. In the case of Kilchoman Sanaig, it is a mild wisp of smoke throughout the entire experience. That said, this is a really nice dram.
"Sanaig" is the name of a little natural stream that runs by the distillery. And that make sense because Kilchoman Sanaig is light and fresh without losing its peaty Islay character. It’s aged 50% in ex-Bourbon casks and 50% in Oloroso Sherry casks, so it has the "rancio" and dried fruit flavors too. The net result is a smooth, young Whisky that tastes like eating dark chocolate-covered raisins next to a campfire on the beach.
Starts with an aroma of smoky peat and pomegranate molasses, first sip introduces vanilla and dried fruit notes, ends with a smoky toasty finish
about 7 starts on the nosing. 5.5-6 on flavor.
Not bad, but not my favorite.
Smoke is balanced very well with the other notes - still smokey, but it not overly strong (like with Machir Bay). Truly delicious dram. Long finish that is both sweet and smokey.
Spicy, warm, and delicious
Big smoke on the nose that wasn't overpowering. Smoky dried fruit and a little chocolate hiding behind peat flavor with a short peppery finish. I really like this one.
Delicious flavors that hit you on the way down and again is a surprisingly delightful way.
Very smooth, beautiful nose that reminds me of single malts with a sherry cask finish; would need to be more complex in the flavor and finish to rival a Lagavulin 16.
Wonderful Smokey dram, not overpowering aftertaste. Very light feel.
SMOKE. PEAT. This is my first peated scotch, so those are the dominant tasting notes standing out to me by far. Not sure the peated thing is my jam, but I don’t hate it. Will be trying more.
Not bad...definitely prefer Lagavulin 16 when sipping an Islay.
Subtle flavors. Peaty but not overwhelming. Enjoyable.
Holy SMOKE, love the smoke! Bold and tasteful
Fantastic flavors. I will be buying again.
Smells smokier than it tastes. Mild burn, flavorful and complex.
I got a sample of this in the Kilchoman Whiskey Flight. It's good! Very smoky and peaty as the flavor profile suggests but I also got a salty taste. Not sure where that came from but I liked it. A nice Islay Scotch. I'd buy a bottle of this but it's not currently available. It's on my wishlist.
Smokey, Smokey, smoke..! Tasty whiskey, if you’re good w peateyness...
Smoky and some peat without being overwhelming. Smoke lingers even as the fruity notes play. Very nice.
The smoke isn’t as strong as other islays I’ve had, which allows the other flavors to come through, especially the stone fruit. On the finish the saltiness almost explodes on the back of the tongue.
Really nice! Smokey up front with a great finish. Hints of vanilla mixed in with the smoke are what I think makes it really good. Great bottle to have on hand for sipping with a cigar or as a night cap.
Came as part of a tasting box. Extremely powerful nose and flavor. Could not taste much other than smoke and peat, but I did enjoy it!
Got this as part of the Peat It tasting box, and it’s the one I gravitated towards the most. I’m a big Islay fan and enjoy the smoke, peat, medicinal, and coastal notes. Pleasantly surprised by this one. Not overly complex, but a solid profile. When reaching for Lagavulin becomes too mundane this is a good alternative.
Got as part of a Flaviar tasting box. Lots and lots of smoke with a light mouth feel. Taste of orange zest with undertones of pecans and butterscotch.
This was smooth and smoky without being overpowering. Got this in a tasting box and it’s my favorite of the 3.
This will be my go to when Lagavulin 16 is too much for the occasion. Smoke and peat taste that lasts.
Extreme peat flavor and uber intense nose. Vanilla is only note that comes through as other sweeter tones extremely subtle - not enough to counter the strong smoke. A bite of spice.
This is pretty good, but the Ardbeg 10 is cheaper and beats this hands down, in peat, in flavor, in complexity. Lagavulin 16 is certainly better but more expensive - Lagavulin 8 is better at the same price.
This is a really beguiling dram, one of a handful of peated whiskies I've had that play really well with the sherry barrel finishing.
Off the top, it's all leather, brine and oil on the nose. There isn't as much smoky char as other peated drams. This leans towards the seaweed and petroleum end of the spectrum.
But on the palate this thing comes bursting with salt, fish, pepper, and then the sherry cask shines through with berries, dried apricot, cocoa and coffee, then the more subtle presence of black pepper and char lingers for a long time.
This is outstanding, bringing the peat and the sweet and have them battle for your enjoyment.
Too sweet for my taste
A good introduction to smoky/peaty scotch. My husband and I are expanding our tastings. Smooth, cool, smoky, but not too much of a burn for us newbies.
Just the right amount of peat and spice
Surprised this is only averaging 7/10 - it’s wonderful! Everything I’d expect from an Islay scotch if only a little young. Rich and fruity and the start with a smooth cocoa/coffee finish. Pleasant smoke/peat throughout.
Huge flavor. Interesting blend of smoothness, peat and smoke without feeling like your in a barn fire. Very nice.
Complex, peaty and fruity... Perfect!
Peaty scotch with plenty of body. Smoky and fruity on the nose, rich and smooth on the palate, and a lingering finish of dried fruit.
Main flavor is fruit - raisins, dried apricot, peaches; a touch of dry straw and a good whack of pepper in the long finish. Almost more of a highland/lowland blend rather than an Islay. A little water brings out more herbal/straw notes and tempers the pepperiness. Not a bad dram at all.
Tastes like Christmas. Spicy and Peaty and lovely.
a bit of smoke, a bit of raisin, nice!
Like this stuff! Glad I tried the tasting box - will definitely purchase. Up there with Lagavulin and Laphaoig.
Peaty and smokey with fruit on the nose. Delicious and clean.
I got this in a tasting box and immediately liked it. It's wonderfully peaty but it's also got great, clean flavors. Cannot recommend highly enough!
Nice flavors, getting more spice than I expected. Good fruit on the nose.
Very smoky for this new scotch drinker
Smokey, rubbery, dry fruit (prunes), very peaty.
Buy to try, strong flavor. You have to give a warning about 50 PPM.
Good overall, slight peat, slight Smokey, vanilla. Overall good scotch.
This is fairly smoky. I can taste the figs, chocolate, but honestly, as someone who is not a usual peaty scotch drinker, the peat sort of blew the rest of the flavor profile away for me. However, if you like your Islay, you'll probably love this.
Loving the smoke. Smooth and growing on me the more I drink.
Not a Peaty guy, but the smokiness is overwhelming.
Peaty, sweet, very easy to drink.
Peaty and chocolate. Smooth and smoky. Might just throw down for a bottle.
Light smoke. Fairly polished but tastes young. I’m not really digging the sherry-influence. Tastes disjointed and unresolved.
Consistent good scotch. I found it difficult to pick up the individual tasting notes, but did get the raisins/dry fruit and a tiny hint of sweetness.
Very smooth rich scotch with a nice smokey component. No burn. Viscous and rich.
Love the thick texture, moderate smoke, and the almost meaty taste!
Balanced, Peaty, and sweet. Love it
Really grew on me. Definite dried fruits with a pleasant smokey aftertaste.
Not subtle with the peat or it’s smokiness, but they do not overpower!
Raisin really comes thru on the nose. I don’t get the pest and smoke as others so until the finish. More sweet fruit for me. I like it
This was super good. Best out of the "Peat it Peat it" flight. nice smoke, but balanced with some rich background flavors. Highly recommend.
Very Smokey, yet sweet and tasteful!
A bit too smoky for me.
Very smooth, very smoky
Easy drinking crowd pleaser.
Love the peatyness of this scotch. My new favorite.
Strong peat flavor. Ok, but to rich for my palate.
Sips like a bourbon, with an initial nose full caramel, oak, and smoke blending in without overwhelming. If you're a bourbon drinker transitioning to trying out scotch, I'd recommend this. The aging in the sherry casks after the bourbon barrels really helps with balancing the smokiness, the raisin and fruit flavors from the casks add a sweetness to round off the smoke.
Love this. Smooth and Smokey. On my second bottle in a month.
Enjoyable drink but didn't strike me as that complex. Not a lot of smoke (I suppose that might just be me?), some pepper, good finish. A splash of water dialed up the smokiness.pepper and I think made it a little better.
Peaty, banana - sweet scent on the nose - same on the pallet. Maybe a little pepper and certainly smoke. I really enjoyed this one.
I love Islay and this is an interesting expression of the style. It certainty has smoke and peat, but here it is also layered with the flavors of Bourbon abs Sherry casks.
Like the color, definitely taste grain and pepper. Not as peaty or smoky as I expected, really only comes through on the finish.
I'm not sure what else to taste besides smoke.... I can only have about one finger and then move on to something else, otherwise all I taste for the next two hours is smoke.
A winner. The aroma gets the experience started well: smoky; deep; and full. The peatiness level, pepper hints, and warmth of the taste is stronger than I usually like, but it works here.
Tasty and sweet... a little too sweet for me, but still a very delicious single malt that I could see myself drinking with desert
Lovely, well balanced peat, with deep sweetness
Delicious. Insanely good Scotch for this price point.
Great nose, interesting flavors. The peat is well balanced with the other flavors. A little fruit and vanilla stand out to me.
Really enjoyed the mild sweetness and balanced smoke.
Not as peaty as originally thought. Smooth first sip, takes some getting used to. Enjoyed more by the third & fourth sip. Faint taste of vanilla with a wood/oak finish.
Not much smell. Smoky with a smooth finish.
Definitely Taste raisins. Very smooth finish.
Very Smoky. No other taste or smells other than smoke. Smooth finish
Very solid. Well balanced; I did not feel that anything pulled to hard in one way and the peat was balanced with the sweetness, syrup/dried fruit and subtle pepper. Finish is smooth.
The smoke made the peat taste enjoyable. I usually am not a fan of Scotch due to the peat flavors but this one made for a great sipping experience. Kind of grows on you.
Loved it. Super smoky with fruity flavors
Smooth, peat with light smoke. Very nice dram.
Initial aroma of a little peat, ripe juicy plums, and even maraschino cherry. Comes off as very syrupy-sweet. Taste was not very complex - a little wood and caramel...astringent. After a dash of water...the fruit in the aroma dulled a little and more oak came out. Same with flavor plus a touch of maple and an earthy quality. Mouthfeel was nice...creamy and heavy. But overall, this one didn't do much for me at all.
A slight Smokey flavor hidden by vanilla and an interesting sweetness. I’m not a big fan of smoke but o love this!
Just like smelling a campfire but oh so smooth! Will definitely be buying this one.
Dried fruits notes are nice. Smoke is not super strong. A nice solid peaty scotch.
Nice balance of flavors. Smooth sipping with little burn for the alcohol content. Loved it. my favorite of the three sailed l samples.
I really liked this one. Got it in the tasting set and then ordered a bottle. Very nice balance between the peat and other flavors. High peat scotch can be overwhelming or one-note, this is not.
Nice. Smooth. Would feel comfortable drinking out of a used shoe.
My first taste of Peat style. I like it and would consider a bottle of Peat Scotch after I indulge myself in a few more tastings.
not sure what everyone is talking about too smokey in the reviews. thought the peat was fine. it was all of the fruit notes that did not complement each other. my wife (who is a nurse) said it smelled like cadaver juice.
While I enjoyed the Islay influence of this product, it paled compared to Laphroaig.
you can smell and taste the fruit. obviously peated. however, i felt all of the fruit notes, raisins, vanilla, and white chocolate worked against each other. not a Scotch i would recommend.
Warm, hints of pepper. Fruity flavors show up with more sips.
Warm and smoky, lots of pepper
Solid scotch if you like smoke and peat. Smokey vanilla on the nose, pepper raisin notes on the tongue. A bit hot throughout. A keeper but would not buy again.
Richer smoke on the nose than the Machir bay. Old leather and smoke. Snooth, rich. Sweet, but not overly. Oily. A little bit of that medicinal, seaside tar flavor. Very nice. Tastes well-aged (not sure that it is).
Smoky. Subtle vanilla and raisin. Solid scotch. Highly recommend.
Light, feathery, rubber, white pepper, pineapple, light smoke
Very drinkable wintertime scotch, warmer and richer than many with the fruit notes on the palate.
I love the peat in this mash!
What a smooth whiskey. Definitely a favorite now. Smokey & peaty taste.
One of the best Islay whiskies I have ever tried.
As with all Islay Scotches, heavy on the peat flavor, which I love, but overall it lacks the depth, complexity and body of some of the better Islays. For the money, a great buy.
Delicious, peaty, reminds me of lagavulin
After trying the Peat It, Peat It! Vol. 2 sampler, I have to say I'm not a huge fan of peated scotch overall. That being said, this was a fun new liquor to try and had a nice robust profile. You can definitely taste the peat and smokiness, but it doesn't overpower the hint of grape and sherry, presumably from finishing in the cask. It was an interesting flavor, to say the least, that opens up a bit with some ice or in a craft cocktail. Not my cup of tea, but definitely worth trying, especially if you've never done peated scotch.
I’ll buy this, has character and I like the smoke balanced with the lighter tones.
campfire, a lot of peat, oily and peppery...
Heavy peat flavor and smoke. Great for end of night campfire craving.
Some smoke and peat, but not overpowering. A nice transition from sweeter Sherry finish Scotches. Lately I've been enjoying more peat and briny flavors.
The nose is outrageous! Peaty, and you can pick up the chocolate raisin that is in the notes. at 46%ABV, it does need a few drops of water to cut a slightly sharp alcohol taste. I'd go for Laphraoig 10 year which I really love for less money.
I would love to have a bottle of this in my house all the time, it's simple, but does nothing wrong if you like a smoked whisky
Fair to middling - I’d drink it but I wouldn’t buy a bottle
Fruity, with a little smoke to it. My wife liked it and she doesn’t like scotch at all.
Grew on me as I continued sipping. Strong peat and caramel, but felt like it needed a layer or two more. Decent intro to a peat
Just. Simple. AmaZing
Nice full taste. Good peat and caramel flavor.
This whiskey is your non classic Islay whiskey it has a exceptionally smooth smoke on the nose as you become acclimated and get past the smoke ( this is a very peaty whiskey all Kilchoman are) I smell wild flowers with a slight smell of fresh cut wheat. On the palate I get a very smooth peat smoke with a very mild black pepper. It is a sweet almost brown sugar taste once you get past the smoke with still just a mild black pepper in the background there is also a small butter not mixed in with the brown sugar and a slight toasted note nearing the at the end after the whiskey has been swallowed I really have a sweet sugary taste left in my mouth and the black pepper in the back ground faded away overall one of my favorite whiskeys its not overly complex but it keeps me coming back.
Liked it quite a bit. Good peated love
Enjoyed this the most from their sampler. Smooth finish and peaty flavor was not overwhelming. Will be buying a full bottle next time I'm in the store.
It's a good whisky that is not too complex but enough to keep one entertained. Surely not going to knock anyone's socks off.
Most impressed. I think this is the best tasting for under $70. It's dark in color, which I normally steer clear of, but this has great palate. Strong peaty tones, a nice drop of tipple....
Nice peat from start to finish. Sweet, smoky, and peaty on the palate. Lingering heat is softened with some water. The finish is all peat with sweet.
Smokey and a little harsh. Adding a few drops of water makes it sweeter and takes away some of the sting.
Peaty and smooth. Slight alcohol burn on the nose. Sherry barrel notes lend sweetness and vanilla that balance the smoke well.
Taste like sore throat spray, has a annis flavor
Peaty, earthy, and a smooth finish.
Lovely peaty Irish whiskey twist. Pineapple finish is divine and unique. Wanting of more flavor on mid-palate, but all in all a very nice whiskey.
Very tasty. Interesting how the smoke/peat note is more towards the back of the pallet pushing the other notes forward, unlike a lot of Islay where the other notes are hidden within the smoke/peat.
I'm a fan of smoky, peaty scotches, like Lagavulin and Laphroigh, but my immediate reaction to this scotch was that it was way too strong on the nose. It almost burned my nostrils when I took a good whiff and that was a real turnoff. When I added about 1/2 an ice cube it took on a whole new life and the flavors really came out. It does pair well with a strong cheese however. For a few dollars more I will probably stick with my favorite....Lagavulin 16 yr. You just can't beat it for the price!
Nose is strong peat, earthy with a hint of sherry. Taste full bodied, strong peat but not overpowering. Slightly salty but not unpleasant aftertaste.
Incredible flavor. Smooth with a little smoke.
Smokey and abrupt. Hits hard and jumps around. Definitely got pineapple and pepper. The Sherry cask is noticable once it opens up a little.
I think the fruity taste and the sherry cask taste are overriding the peaty Islay taste which makes for an interesting and complex package. Not bad at all
Peaty of course. Long and smooth finish. Definitely raisin forward. Reasonable intro to the world of peat.
Pretty good. Not super distinct or notable, but a solid dram.
Nose: Smokey with medical cleaner tinge.
Taste: Smokey with barely bearable burn. Smoke overwhelms all the sense. On ice: smoke still strong, no other flavors. Burn more bearable.
After: quick dissipating burn. Warmth lingers.
Complex and interesting. Has a hot, woody flavor.
Strongly smoky and peaty, with a little subtle sweetness out of this very nice offering from Kilchoman. A little more robust and powerful than something like the standard Ardbeg and not as much of that pure smoke flavor. A little richer and full bodied.
So smoky, so good, like drinking liquid smoke right out of the bottle.
Incredible peat flavor, not something I enjoy.
Quite smoky/peaty with a nice nose, but there's a high note of ash and oak that interrupt the enjoyment of the depth of the scotch.
This is an underrated scotch IMO. If your like Ardbeg and Laphroaig, you should give this a try.
Toffee nose. Raisins. Smoke. Gentle on the tongue. Hint of oil. Long finish with pepper and peat. Earthly
Pound cake, heavy ash on the tongue, vanilla bean and black pepper
Really like it. Nice balance of smoke in it.
Heavy smoke initially, an ice cube opens some of the subdued sweeter notes. A nice drink and much more appreciated with the ice.
A peated malt my wife enjoys. That’s an endorsement in & if itself! The smokiness reigns supreme, yet does not overpower the drinker. It warms the throat and is a perfect whisky by the fire. If you’re not a fan of peated whiskies, give this one a try anyway, you may just like it!
Heavy peaty nose but surprisingly lower on the pallet. Sweet bright finish with chocolatey, malty notes!
Too much smoke and peat overwhelms anything else.
Way too smoky for me.
It is an outstanding, delicate, Single Malt Scotch Whisky with an aromatic birth; while a creamy & fresh life that leads to a long & smooth death with notes of rancio, peat smoke & salt spray.
More peat than their base machir bay, but still please t to drink
I like the raisin and sweetness, but the Pete and smoke are too much for me.
peaty with some smoke on it
I typically don't love the smokey ones, but this is terrific! Quite a bit of smoke on the nose but it sure doesn't taste like smoke. Very nice flavor with very little smokey after taste. If you're interested in smokey Scotches and typically enjoy more "basic" flavors, give 'er a whirl!
Way too smoky for me.
Wow is it smoky. Not accustomed to such powerful smoke. Interesting but not my favorite right now.
Interesting; very Smokey and earthy almost tobacco scents and flavors. Bold. Dry fruit and long finish. Too cigary for me, but it’s interesting.
Perfect amount of smoke and peat flavor. It's there, but it doesn't overpower the other flavors.
Heavy smoke flavor, comes in at the end and stays. Too much smoke for me. Like drinking a campfire.
Love the smoky aroma. Nice warm finish. I'll be purchasing a bottle of this.
Wow - this is the most smoke I have ever gotten from an Islay, and yet the peat is still there as well. I really like the smoke being up front on this one rather than the peat - this one is an interesting change. Really liked this dram - I immediately ordered a bottle to continue experimenting with it.
Yes just peaty enough. not heavy on the nose. and lovely finish. I think I found my next bottle to purchase
Mmmm mildly peaty
Smooth, great finish, just peaty enough, would recommend and definitely buy again.
Peatie and smooth, but with a little kick. Good choice for your "Go-To" bottle.
A truly outstanding scotch. Perfect neat or with 1 cube of ice. Has strong smokey smell but the flavor is much more complex than that. A little peat, a little spice, a little fruit, a wonderful aftertaste - I bought the 100% Islay, which I also like (although the Sanaig is my favorite) and liked the Machir Bay as well. This new distillery will become a major force once their vintage (aged) releases become more plentiful and easily found. You can't speed up aging, so I'll wait patiently.
Beautiful scotch. An instant classic and in my top 10.
A new favorite. Light yet complex.
Awesome flavor! A drink for special occasions for sure!
An instant winner with me. I love Islay's, and the Sanaig belongs among the best.
Decent whiskey but Kilchoman has better options available.
appreciate the subtle peat, doesnt overpower
Sweet and smoky
To smoky for my taste.
Instantly one of my favorites. If you haven't tried it yet, you must.
A nice whisky with a bit of smoke. Perfect for social occasions.
Top notch Islay whisky that ticks the boxes for full flavor, sweetness, peaty, and richness. I love, love, love it!
Great taste just a little to smoky for my taste
This immediately contends with Laphroaig Quarter Cask as my Desert Island choice.