Page 7

Micheal O Coileain was a legendary Irish hero and was the spearhead of Ireland’s struggle for independence. His spirit lives on in this finely crafted single malt. Michael Collins Irish Single Malt Whiskey 40% Cooley A rich sweet compote of stewed cranberries and mulberries with coatings of vanilla and marzipan, the barley is there but subdued by the weight of the overpowering richness of sweet berried fruits and caramel. Eventually a hint of the Cooley peat emerges. Sherry sweet and softly mouth coating, the mid palate kicks in with the fruit ‘n spice battling with the oak and tannins, leaving a lingering vinous and oak finish.  Very, very drinkable and one of the better Irish single malts. 84. 

                                                           HAKUSHU DISTILLERYThe Hakushu 12yo Single malt 43% SuntoryBoiled sweets, bubblegum and pear drops, these hi hats of sugary sweetness are remarkable , then a kick drum of lemon malted barley thumps through layers of lemon meringue.Soft, sweet and velvety smooth on the tongue, there is a mid palate of pepper ‘n vanilla spice, crisp and clear, with a warm, charred wooded finish that lingers chardonnay style. Outstanding. 92

On the other hand you can always carry a small snake in a bottle of whisky……

In 2005 Kilchoman was the newest distillery on Islay since 1908 and by 2010 were selling 50,000 bottles annually! Kilchoman Machir Bay Single Malt 2012 46% Fresh, clean, coastal, peaty, young, crisp, sweet sea breezes and surprisingly soft. The peat is there but understated, surprising, the orchard fruits just lingering. Mild for one so youthful. This dram is very quaffable, light and sweet, almost aperitif in style, the guns are not blazing but the spice and peat are neatly balanced with the vanilla, apple and pear. Drink this Islay neat, surprised me on every turn. 86

Kilchoman Spring 2011 Release 3yo Single Malt 46%Tarry, a touch of rubber, charcoal and hay bales all coated with vanilla, flavoured with pear drops.Thick and full bodied as the honey and warm spicy pepper hits the tongue, leaving a seaweed, salt and tar coated barley finish. Lingering, this dram is sweet, salty, smoky and sensuous. 88

Kilchoman Summer 2010 Release Single Malt 46% Sweet and rubbery, tarry ropes, iodine, pear drops, lemon and vanilla toffee.  Sweet as honey as the dram coats the tongue, then barrel loads of peppery spice and a finish of warm tarmacadam.  A dash of aqua brings out more of the orchard fruits, pears, Granny Smith apples, with the medicinal note still so pungent. Softer and sweeter on the tongue but the pepper and spice still rages on. 88

Kilchoman Winter 2010 Release Single Malt 46% The pear drops more pronounced but the iodine is softer, less aggressive than the Summer Release. Melon and apple are evident as is the peat reek. This dram is patently maritime with seaweed now wrapped around the orchard fruits, slowly rotisseried and smoked over glowing peat and barley embers. The vanillas seem impossibly more intense than the Summer 2010 dram, the peppery spice mid palate now balanced, the finish long, soft and smoky. A splash of water brings out lemon barley sugar but lessens the vanilla impact….sip this one naked…so to speak….90 

Kilchoman Inaugural 100% Islay 3yo 1st Fill Bourbon 50%Smoked vanilla pods, sugar encrusted seaweed, tarry ropes and pear drops.Viscous and vanilla sweet with a mid palate of pepper ‘n sweet spice leaving a warm wellies finish and lingering sweet brine.A dash of aqua injects a burst of vanilla pod, the pepper morphing to chilli lemon spice with the warm peat and soft salt lingering on the finish. 90

Kilchoman Single Cask Single Malt Distilled:20/09/07 Bottled:07/09/11 From Bourbon Cask No:244/2006 60.5%So much like a sweet ale with a hint of new make, new rubber, damp smoking embers, pear drops with menthol and wintergreen.Intensely, deliciously sweet and unctuous on the palate, then hot spicy pepper with a warm finish of sweet barley and hot tar. 92

Kilchoman Single Cask Single Malt Distilled:15/11/06 Bottled:06/09/11 From Sherry Cask No:323/2006 60.3%Peach schnapps and new make, greengage and gooseberry with an orange citrus twist as the soft smoke entwines around the fruit.Taste bud boggling this is intensely sweet honey and vanilla, the orchard fruits impacting, giving way to a hot peppery spice, then soft peat smoke, charred oak and tar.A supreme malt of the highest order, with the sugary sweet addiction balanced perfectly with the orchard fruits and soft peat. A masterpiece. 95

Glenbrynth 40y0 Blended Malt 43% Orchard fruits with vanilla and new paint, then with time and teased from the depths, arrives a fruit salad of over ripe pawpaw, melon and banana, a twist of toffee wrapped around a wad of burning leaf embers, then fruit chews, vanilla toffee and almonds start to dominate. Despite the age, surprisingly thin on the palate, the sweet orchard and tropical fruits impact, spicing and peppering on the mid palate, leaving a delicious warmth of vanilla and toasted oak. 88 Glenfarclas 40yo Single Malt 46% Like falling into a vat of stewed dark fruits that have been marinating in Oloroso and PX sherry casks for forty years. However this vat is sitting on a termite hill of Matabele ants, the foundation and structure of this aged whisky, then dark chocolate cherry liqueur, musty maraschino cherries, dark toffee, a hint of horse sweat and drawing room leather. The palate is astonishing, so rich and a mirror image of the nose, beautifully balanced, with rich burnt molasses , spicy rumtopf, aged Spanish oak and coalescing in the longest, lingering aftertaste of dark liquorice toffee…a full bodied bear hug of a dram. Stunning! 94