28 July 2020

Kilchoman Sauternes Cask Finish 2018

I’ve been a big fan of Kilchoman since the beginning. They offer a great core range with diverse types of sherry and bourbon maturations, and the best thing is that they’re very open about which casks are used and in what ratio. It gives the buyers a good understanding of what they taste.

In addition to the core range, they put out some special cask maturations and finishes each year. In 2018 this sauternes finished whisky came on the market and I knew this was right up my alley.

For me, bourbon matured Kilchoman works best. Sherry and Madeira for example, give the whisky a somewhat heavy taste. Most of them are beautifully crafted , but I personally like my Kilchoman’s a bit more fresh, vibrant and subtly sweet. The 100% Islay bottlings are the best examples of drams I could drink all day every day. Sauternes, in addition to a bourbon cask, sounded like a extra layer of (fresh) sweetness. So let’s dive into the tasting notes to figure out if that’s actually the case:

Tasting notes


Sweet and warming, wholemeal rusk, broth, a huge tasty yoghurt ice cream sherbet


Thick and syrupy, lots of candy, drying and sweet, a bit savoury too, like soup


Sweet, syrupy, a fungi like savouriness, baked onions and nicely integrated peat smoke

Our notes may sound a bit strange, but boy do we like this arrangement of flavours! Fresh and sweet yes, but there’s an entire third layer of savoury notes which works incredibly well.

This might be one of my favourite Kilchomans to date. We had some great bottles of other brands that used sauternes, this is another case in which sauternes proves itself to be a perfect flavour maker.