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In a way, Kilchoman effortlessly combines the modern and the traditional.
The distillery is one of the newest in Scotland, having been founded in 2005. Indeed, it was the first new distillery to be built on Islay for 125 years. However, Kilchoman also marks a throw back to whisky's very beginnings, back when the spirit was still the product of a cottage industry.
Kilchoman is a farm distillery, meaning that it uses a certain amount of barley that it has sown, grown and harvested on-site and in-house. This would have been the way that whisky was originally created, with stills attached to farms, and distillers turning their excess grain into spirit.
Of course, these days, there is certainly not "excess grain" on Islay for distilling, and Kilchoman have to supplement their home-grown barley with some from the Scottish mainland.
This bottling, designed as Kilchoman's flagship, is named after the pristine nearby beach, Machir Bay, and is a great introduction to the distillery's high quality range.
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Ashy peat immediately leaps out of the glass, with bursting lemon juice, charred oak, sea spray and a huge hit of Bourbon-cask vanilla.
Creamy and rich with a big peaty character. Smoked pineapple and mangos are entwined with wood ash, vanilla and some subtle raisins.
Long and luscious with lip-smacking, elegant peat smoke and zesty lemon rind. Spectacular Islay whisky.