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 in 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.