Kilchoman, Special Release Cognac Cask (700ml)
Kilchoman Distillery - Islay's Farm Distillery
Limited Edition, Cognac Cask Matured (2023)
The Cognac Cask Matured is a vatting of 32 Cognac casks sourced from Tonellerie Bossuet Cooperage in the Cognac region of France. The 2023 limited edition sees Kilchoman heavily peated spirit spend its full maturation in Cognac casks for a minimum of six years. During its maturation, the spirit has captured the herbaceous, sweet spice from the Cognac casks which balances with their citrus-fruit led spirit, allowing the maritime peat smoke to subtly shine through.
Cognac is a variety of brandy which has been produced from a distilled white wine. Cognac must be twice distilled (using copper pot stills) and aged for a minimum of two years in French oak barrels (typically Limousin). To first produce the white wine, the grapes are grown in specific designated growing regions and harvested towards the end of the year, typically around October. The grapes are then pressed and fermented, naturally without the addition of sugar, reaching 9% ABV. This is then twice distilled in copper pot stills with the heart of the distillation transferred to the above-mentioned oak barrels for maturation. A minimum maturation period of two years is required. The Cognac casks used at Kilchoman have been purchased from Bossuet Cooperage in France originating from a single Cognac house. These 300 bulk litre casks have worked incredibly well with their spirit imparting flavour profiles such as dried fruits, toffee and warm spices.
NOSE: An opening note of rich apple and pear forms the structure for this release. Herbaceous fresh fruit begins to make its way as the whisky begins to open. Subtle tones of honey and warming spice develop over time. Peat remains delicate on the nose, bringing a dryness to this release
PALATE: The texture provided by a slow distillation and the influence of the Cognac oak allows for a buttery texture that continues throughout. Dried lemon and apricot combine with cinnamon and nutmeg which are held together by an influence of toasted oak and sweet peat smoke
FINISH: The depth of flavour that the Cognac casks have provided the Kilchoman spirit is unrivalled; dried fruits and marzipan make way to crystallised ginger, balancing sweet and spice. Lingering peat smoke is lightened with the influence of citrus oil making itself known across the palate
“The limited-edition cask exploration editions allow us to experiment with our spirit here at Kilchoman. The Cognac casks selected for this 2023 release permit our fruit-driven, citrus spirit style to balance with that of the Cognac oak. There is a delicate balance to be found when working with Cognac casks; keeping the age of this release at a minimum of six years old ensures the flavours from the spirit and the cask are easily detected, neither dominates,”
– Anthony Wills, Kilchoman Founder