I’m a fan of the Machir Bay series and this Kilchoman Machir Bay 2017 is no exception – that’s no secret. It’s the penultimate representation of Kilchoman’s style and yet it’s insanely affordable. One sip of this and it’s easy to see why Kilchoman is gaining steam all over the country.
In Kilchoman’s Words: Kilchoman Machir Bay 2017
“Named after the most spectacular beach on Islay, Machir Bay is the flagship of the Kilchoman range. Machir Bay is a unique and complex combination of ex-bourbon barrels and Oloroso sherry butts. Machir Bay was first launched in 2012 when it won the prestigious IWSC 2012 Gold Award and more recenty in 2016 it was awarded best Islay Single Malt at the IWC. “Machir Bay has a beautiful balance of vanilla, smokey butterscotch and rich fruitiness each contributing in complexity and combining to create a truly unique Islay dram” John MacLellan, Distillery Manage”
Kilchoman Machir Bay 2017 isn’t just good for Kilchoman it’s good for an Islay Scotch and a whisky period. There are so many peated Scotches out there that cost more, have been aged longer, etc., I’d pass up in a heartbeat for a glass of this. More about why in the Kilchoman Machir Bay 2017 review below.
Kilchoman Machir Bay 2017 Info
Region: Islay, Scotland
Mashbill: 100% Malted Barley
Cask: ex-Bourbon (90%) ex-Oloroso (10%)
Non-Chill Filtered | Natural Color
Kilchoman Machir Bay 2017 Review
Honey, peat, pears, cinnamon, apple, minerality, vanilla, spice and a crisp saline edge. It’s heavy, deep and complex with layers that get uncovered with time.
Honey, complex orchard fruit, peat, earthy malt, cinnamon, minerality, saline, vanilla and a light crisp graham, pepper and camphor.
Long fade of peat, honey, orchard fruit, pepper and saline.
BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Great balance, round body and a warm slick feel.
Holy cow… I mean… just… wow this Kilchoman Machir Bay 2017 reminds me of older Ardbeg. Like the 2016 this is crisp, peaty, fruity, dark and sweet and carries the amazing essence of the early 2000s Ardbeg. It’s just astounding and it’s all I can think about when I’m drinking the ’16 and ’17 releases. From a malt point it makes sense, but from a cask and aging stance it’s completely remarkable.
Moving away from the comparison and into the actual whisky it bears repeating that it carries an elegant profile across the senses and has a lot of sweet notes that get paired with the earthier malt, peat and saline notes. There’s so much going on and it’s so alluring – I don’t want to stop drinking it. Give this whisky more age and depth and it’s going to an absolute stunner. Can you imagine a 10-year-old Machir Bay? 15? 20? I’m looking forward to the day, but for now I’m all about this Kilchoman Machir Bay 2017.
SCORE: 90/100 (A-)