Kilchoman Machir Bay 2017 Review


Kilchoman Machir Bay 2017 ReviewI’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

Distiller: Kilchoman
Mashbill: 100% Malted Barley
Cask: ex-Bourbon (90%) ex-Oloroso (10%)
Age: NAS
ABV: 46%

Non-Chill Filtered | Natural Color

Price: $55

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.

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-)

Kilchoman Machir Bay 2017 Review - Score Breakdown
  • Nose - 90
  • Palate - 90
  • Finish - 90
  • Balance, Body & Feel - 90


Summary = Kilchoman Machir Bay 2017 is goooooood.


Kilchoman Machir Bay 2017 Label

Josh Peters

Josh Peters

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

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6 Responses to Kilchoman Machir Bay 2017 Review

  1. This is why enjoy reading your reviews Josh. No BS, no agenda, just an honest appreciation of the good (and not so good) stuff. I’ve been a fan of Kil’oman since the first release, what a fabulous product and story they have to tell.
    That said, Ardbeg being a particular favourite of mine since the early naughties (noughties:-), I haven’t been able to see the Ardbeg early 2000s connection yet – the Kil’omans are just still too young!
    My absolute favourite Kilchoman to date is the Single Cask Release Whisky Live Tokyo 2015 Sherry (8.10.2009/30.06.2015), a dessert pudding in a glass. Love the Machir Bay, especially the 2017 and the Sanaig 2016 too. The 100% Islay was a bit of let-down though. Good, but never really lived up tp my expectations.

  2. I bought a bottle a few months ago based on the numerous raving reviews and I really love it. I love the subtlety, the fruity flavors combined with elegance with peat, a hint of smoke. For me it fights above its category, I bought it as a replacement for an Ardbeg 10 and Laphroaig 10 (slightly more expensive than Laphroaig but at the same price as Ardbeg here in CO) and I actually think it is at the level of a Lagavulin 16 or, dare I say, at the level of my prized bottle of Laphroaig 18. It is that delicate to me!

  3. Great review. I really like Machir Bay as well and very reasonably priced to boot. I do have a question for you though, how do you tell what year it is? I’m guessing there must be a date but I’ve never looked. Just wondering

  4. Just tried Kilchoman Machir Bay for thw first time. It was absolutely the worst “Scotch” me or my friends had ever had. We ended up pouring most of it down the drain it was just that bad. Maybe it somehow went bad? It was definately smoky and peaty but also had the taste of turpentine. We won’t be purchasing it again.

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