A creation of the late Dr Jim Swan, STR refers to a specific formula for the Shaving, Toasting and Re-Charring of Red Wine Hogsheads.
A total of 30 casks filled in 2012 were selected by Anthony Wills, Kilchoman’s founder and Managing Director, bottled at a strength of 50%abv without chill-filtration or colouring.
The process of shaving, toasting and re-charring has had a huge influence on these casks and the flavours this single malt possesses. Kilchoman released a full maturation Red Wine Cask release in 2016 which took on lots of the big and bold wine flavours, however the STR cask provides a different approach.
The shaving has reduced some of the bolder flavours on the surface of the oak, producing a more subtle red wine influence.
The casks were then toasted and charred over a natural oak fire, fuelled exclusively using oak chips from used staves, removing harsh tannins and undelivered flavours as well as breaking down unwanted chemical bonds of lignin, celluloses, and hemicelluloses.
These undesirable characteristics are replaced with the creation of basic sugars, vanilla and spice notes.
The STR cask, created by the late Dr Jim Swan, balances influence from both the new and used oak to create a powerful combination of rich fruit, oak, spice and maritime peat smoke.
– Anthony Wills: Kilchoman Founder and Managing Director
Kilchoman STR Cask Matured 2019 is bottled with a Phenol level of 50ppm at 50% ABV and is available now – priced at around £78.95.
So, what did I think? Here are my tasting notes …
Tasting Notes – Kilchoman STR Cask Matured 2019 (ABV: 50% / Phenol level: 50ppm)
Nose: Sweet, peaty smoke with fireside wood and burning embers. There’s crisp, crunchy apples and toffee with a hint of cherry(!) All-in-all, aromas that really spoils your nose!
Palate: Vanilla toffee, smokey peat and charred wood.
Finish: Long, spicy, pepper with sweet vanilla, honey and shades of liquorice. Tobacco comes at the end.
Overall: The 50% gives this dram a satisfying, peaty, smokey, sweet punch. It has flavour a-plenty and all finely balanced. I really love the Kilchoman drams and they are always a pleasure to sample – the Kilchoman STR Cask Matured did NOT disappoint!
A hit for sure!
Kilchoman is available to buy from these Whisky Merchants:-
- Master of Malt
- The Whisky Exchange
- Edencroft Fine Wine & Spirit Specialists
- Abbey Whisky
- The Whisky Barrel
- The Green Welly Stop
Kilchoman Distillery sits nestled amongst the traditional buildings of Rockside Farm on the north-west coast of Islay. Famous as Islay’s Farm Distillery, the distillery’s barley fields stretch west to the shores of Machir Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.
Established in 2005, Kilchoman is unique in many ways, most notably for their 100% Islay range, Scotland’s only Single Farm Single Malt. True to Islay’s rich farm distilling heritage, Kilchoman uses local Islay cut peat, slowly distilling by hand, maturing in traditional dunnage warehouses and bottling on site without colouring or chill-filtration.
Since the first bottling was released in 2009, Kilchoman has quickly established itself as a high quality Islay Single Malt Whisky with these notable awards:
Kilchoman’s exceptional quality was recognised at the prestigious International Whisky Competition (IWC) when Anthony Wills was named Master Distiller of the Year 2013.
In 2016 both core expressions won major awards with Sanaig named Best Single Malt Scotch Whisky – no age statement at the IWSC and Machir Bay came first as Best Islay Single Malt Scotch in the International Whisky Competition.
Machir Bay was also awarded a Gold Medal in 2015 at the International Wine and Spirits Competition (IWSC) with Loch Gorm being awarded a Silver Outstanding Medal and 100% Islay a Silver at the prestigious awards.
Kilchoman won Malt Advocates Artisan Whisky of the Year 2011, only three years after the first bottling was released.