Kilchoman Machir Bay is a young peated and sherry cask finished malt by the newest distillery in Islay, Kilchoman. They started in 2005 and by doing so, they were the first distillery built on the region of Islay in 124 years. Kilchoman is a farm distillery, so in some releases all parts of the process – growing barley, malting, distilling, maturing and bottling – are carried out by them.
This Machir Bay was released in 2012. It contains 60% of 3 year old, 35% of 4 year old and 5% of 5 year old malt whisky. All aged in first-fill Ex-Bourbon barrels. Before the vatting, Machir Bay was finished in Oloroso sherry butt for 2 months.
I’ve tasted two other Kilchomans (100% Islay and Loch Gorm) and I must say, they were much better. The young age does show in Machir Bay 2012 release – and it doesn’t show in a good way. This whisky has a good start with its eccentric aromas, but after that, it is a flat ride all the way.
Kilchoman Machir Bay 2012 is like the movie Young Guns. The potential shows in there, but it’s still a draft version. There’s not enough character and balance in the uncut talent. This is a good start by the newest member of smoky Islay, an okay young dram. And coming from interesting distillery like Kilchoman, you and I have to keep on track of their production in the future.