Kilchoman Machir Bay Review

Kilchoman Machir Bay Review

Kilchoman as both a whisky and a distillery is unique and fascinating. The distillery bills itself as Islay’s farm distillery and to my knowledge they are the only one in all of Scotland. They are one of only 6 Scotch distilleries who still utilize an on premise malting floor and one of only 2 distilleries that do the malting, distilling, maturing and bottling on premise (the other is Springbank). Kilchoman then takes it just one step further and they also grow the barley themselves making them the only farm to bottle whisky producer in all of Scotchdom.

The Kilchoman distillery first started filling casks in December of 2005 and have been kicking ass and taking awards since then. Primarily they use ex-bourbon barrels to age their whisky, but from time to time they do utilize some sherry butts to finish the whisky. This whisky is one of those times. The Machir Bay release is a vatting (blend) of 4 and 5 year old whisky with the 4 year old whisky spending an additional month in Oloroso sherry butts before being blended with the 5 year and bottled. It’s not enough time for a lot of sherry flavor to come through, but it seems to have add some sweetness to this spry little single malt.

Overall this whisky is damn tasty. It works on every level, is a treat for all the senses and has quickly become one of my favorite sipping whiskies. It shows a remarkable amount of depth, complexity and restraint despite it’s relative youth. With layers of light crisp flavors and soft warm peat blending harmoniously, and balancing sharply, it handily displays the skill and care taken when crafting this whisky. I highly recommend you give this one a try.

If you’ve had the Machir Bay leave your own thoughts or notes in the comments below.

Kilchoman Machir Bay Review

ABV: 46%
Price: $55
Distiller: Kilchoman
Non-chill filtered
Natural Color

Pale gold

Soft and inviting I could nose this one for hours. Big vanilla, peat, and malt notes swirl about with some green apples, light fruit and a hint of charcoal. I can’t get enough of it.

Love it. The peat comes in a bit heavier on the palate, but not as heavy as a Laphroaig or Lagavulin, and is accompanied by some honey, malt and vanilla. The light fruit crisps up and becomes a bit more tropical bringing with it some notes of salt water taffy and grass. There is a rich sweetness that rides under the palate creating a great underpinning for the rest of the flavors.

46% alcohol and 100% drinkable. Smooth and oily it has a great texture throughout.

Pleasantly long sweet finish of smoke and malt that slowly becomes more wooden as it fades.

SCORE: 94/100

Josh Peters

Josh Peters

I read about, think about, write about, and drink whisk(e)y. In short, it's my passion.
Josh Peters

Latest posts by Josh Peters (see all)

8 Responses to Kilchoman Machir Bay Review

  1. In the Great Commonwealth of Virginia, this sales for $85. How would you compare this to Adbeg Uigeadail, which is actually a few dollars cheaper here.

    • Very different. They’re both good, but Oogie has a lot more sherry and is a deeper whisky. Machir on the other hand is crisper sharper whisky… austere to take a word from the wine world. Both very good though.

  2. Thanks for the comparison. I guess I will have to take the plunge and give it a try. Very much enjoy your site. Good work.

  3. Thanks for the review. I just cracked my bottle of Machir Bay last night. This is indeed good stuff. I’m getting a kind of campfire-toasted marshmallow thing going on next to the fruit. Sounds strange, but sure works.

  4. […] 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? […]

Leave a reply

Send this to a friend