Kilchoman New Make vs Machir 2014 - New Make Notes

We’re about to embark on a 3 week journey of Kilchoman discovery and I couldn’t think of a better way to kick it off than by tasting some straight-off-the-still new make and comparing it to their baseline whisky, the Machir Bay. Kilchoman doesn’t sell their new make, but I was able to source this and the Machir 2014 sample from a friend who has connections at the distillery (thanks Chris). Talk about friends in high places 🙂

Kilchoman New Make vs Machir 2014 - Machir 2014 Notes

It’s rare to get to do something like this, to sit in the comfort of your own home and taste the raw spirit and compare it to the aged product. I’m happy to get to do it and even more happy I get to share it with you all. It’s something that can completely transform your thoughts and opinions on a whisky and open new understandings of what exactly you’re tasting; what’s raw spirit and what’s driven by the oak.

Kilchoman New Make vs Machir 2014

Region: Islay, Scotland

Distiller: Kilchoman
Mashbill: 100% Malted Barley
Cask: ex-Bourbon & ex-Sherry
Age: NAS
ABV: 46% & 63.5% (New Make)

Batch: 2014

Price: $55 (Machir, no price on new make)

Kilchoman New Make vs Machir 2014

New Make: Clear
Machir 2014: Pale gold

New Make: Sweet and fruity, salty, peaty, mineral and spirity vanilla with some fish oil and anise.
Machir 2014: Vanilla, peat, malt, honey, spice, graham, cocoa, fruit, saline and a bit of minerals, fish oil and charcoal.

New Make: Minerally, spirity vanilla, peat, anise and blue raspberry bubblegum.
Machir 2014: Peat, honey, malt, graham, anise, cinnamon and vanilla with bits of fruit, salt water taffy, mineral water, alkaline and grass.

New Make: Long fade of peat, mineral water, blue raspberry bubblegum and vanilla.
Machir 2014: Long fade of smoke, malt, graham and cinnamon.

New Make: Great sense of balance, medium body and oily feel.
Machir 2014: Great sense of balance, medium body and a soft silken feel.

The Kilchoman New Make is quite nice; not complex and water doesn’t help much, but it’s completely enjoyable and I could easily drink this any day. Hands down this is some of the best tasting new make I’ve ever had. This is why Kilchoman tastes so good at a young age, it has a great spirit that’s only missing depth which it gains from the Buffalo Trace barrels it ages in.

Kilchoman Machir Bay (2014) I’ve already reviewed and I loved it. It’s a wonderful whisky that’s fueled by a solid Islay character that I truly adore. I could sit and sip on this or any of the other Machir Bay releases regualry and be completely satisfied. Peat, minerality, saline, honied fruit and malty sweetness, what more could you ask for in a daily drinker?

Consuming them side by side unveiled just how much the raw spirit shines through in Kilchoman releases. It’s now a profile I’ll be noticing and looking for anytime I pick up a glass and in Kilchoman’s case that’s absolutely not a bad thing. This experience has fundamentally changed the way I think about Kilchoman and how I’ll go about tasting it from here on out. I wish everyone could do this.

New Make: 82/100 (B-)
Machir 2014: 88/100 (B+)

Kilchoman New Make vs Machir 2014 - New Make Label

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