Booze Review

Whisky Review – Kilchoman Sanaig

Our view of The Lake.

As has already been reported by Limpd, this year’s summer vacation with Mrs. G-LO and The Boys involved yet another road trip to the great state of Maine. This time around, instead of a ramshackle bungalow by the Penobscot Bay, we decided to step it up a bit and rented a MUCH nicer house on a small lake outside of Camden, Maine. It was a super relaxing and fun filled week by the water (I’ll go into more details in a future post), but for whatever reason, I occasionally felt like there was something missing. Thanks to a dinner time excursion to a nearby lobster pound that was located right on Wheeler Bay, it didn’t take long for me to figure out that the missing ingredient was… The Sea!

While I really enjoyed the crystal clear water and fresh air that our week by the lake offered (and let’s not forget about the occasional call of the Loons. I am of course referring to the bird and not my Better Half and The Boys, though to tell you the truth, they are definitely Looney Tunes!), I missed the smell of the salt water that we would get whenever we stayed by the Penobscot Bay, especially when it was late in the evening and time for a dram of whisky. Thankfully, I had the forethought to pack my trusty Glencairn Glass along with a couple of vials of whisky. As the saying goes, if you can’t take the man to the sea, take the sea to the man! Ok, so maybe I made that bit up. My point is that while I missed the tantalizing and soothing smell of the sea, I was able to experience a bit of it via a delightful Islay whisky. img_8386

As you can see from the above photo, one such whisky that I brought with me comes from the Kilchoman Distillery who just happen to distill and mature their whisky on Islay. The name of this new Kilchoman expression is Sanaig and here’s what the people that actually made it have to say about it:

Anthony Wills, Kilchoman Founder and Managing Director; “Sanaig represents another significant step forward for Kilchoman, it is important to be able to offer customers consistently available releases, until now Machir Bay has been performing that leading role, Sanaig will now share the spotlight.”

John MacLellan, Kilchoman Distillery Manager; “Sanaig is a bold marriage of sherry and bourbon cask maturation. It is both a continuation of the classic Kilchoman style people know and love as well as a development fans of Kilchoman have yet to experience.”

And here are my impressions of the latest from Kilchoman…

  • Appearance: 23K liquid gold in a glass!
  • Aroma: Oodles of peat smoke coming through when first poured. That fades pretty quickly and leaves you with menthol, licorice, powdered sugar, baked apple with cinnamon, and vanilla.
  • Taste: Somewhat oily mouthfeel with a healthy dose of smoky maritime notes at the start. Starts to heat up and gets all fruity as you move towards the middle. There’s a wintergreen tingle immediately followed by those cinnamon and fruit notes too. The herbally notes (licorice and mint) show up in the finish while the lightly spiced fruit flavors linger in the aftertaste.
  • ABV: 46%

As I have discovered in prior tastings, I really enjoy an Islay whisky that’s been blessed with a healthy dose of Sherry cask maturation. There’s just something special about the way those peat and fruit notes come together!  The Kilchoman Sanaig is super tasty with a lovely medley of flavors, and as an added bonus, it’s very easy to drink, i.e. there is no harshness whatsoever. While I like that it was bottled at a hefty 46%,  I can only imagine how good this would be at cask strength.


Many thanks to the good people of Impex Beverages for providing us with this generous sample!

3 replies »

  1. Love this! First – amazing picture of the lake(!) and I love how you satisfied your salt-air craving with a solid Islay whisky … handled like a true #whiskyfabric feen …er … fan. Second – cool review! “23k gold” is a perfect visual. Love that your posts always include a little personal story alongside the review, makes it super fun to read! Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

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