Whisky Reviews

Kilchoman Sanaig


Distiller: Kilchoman
ABV: 46%
Age: No Age Statement
Paid: $50.00

Tasting Notes

Color: Medium/Dark Gold, non chill filtered and no color added

Pour: 30mL neat in a snifter

Nose: A great blend of red fruits, peat, straw, citrus, and smoked salmon with a hint of dark chocolate and leather. After 15 minutes in the glass, rich, spicy fruits and barbecue notes appear.

Taste: An initial hit of pepper is followed by waves of malt; juicy fresh fruits; and coastal, salty peat.  The chocolate carries through as well. There is a dry and spicy complexity to this whisky with hints of nutmeg and allspice, sort of like the aftertaste of a great pumpkin pie. Weird description, I know, but fitting.  An oily, coating whisky that kept my mouth watering.

Finish: Finish is medium-long in length and continues to leave the mouth watering with fruity, peaty barbecue. Rich fruits, brown sugar, and spice linger as barbecue sweet, coastal smoke starts to take over.


This is an interesting bottle of whisky! I'm about a third of the way through at this point, and haven't stopped noticing new flavors and intricacies as I go.

Right off the bat, there's a comparison to be made with Ardbeg's Uigedail expression - the sherried peat flavors of Sanaig are reminiscent of the Ardbeg. I believe Kilchoman and Ardbeg even use the same 50ppm malt from Port Ellen for these two, which makes for a fun side-by-side. That being said, Sanaig benefits from a great, oily, earthy mouthfeel that the Ardbeg doesn't share, and is buoyed by a fruity sweetness that carries through the finish. 

And an interesting finish it is.  At first I thought it was short and sweet, but I was wrong!  This has a lot to offer if you're willing to sit and let it develop, and I can't help but wonder if a slightly higher proof would take this from good to great, but I really like it as-is!

This was my first Kilchoman, and it definitely won't be my last. I keep finding myself reaching for the bottle, and have a sneaking suspicion that this is on its way to becoming a favorite! This is definitely worth a try.

Score: 7.5

Ratings Scale Explained

1 | Disgusting. Get rid of it.
2 | Terrible. I would not drink this.
3 | Bad. Might work in a mixed drink.
4 | Bearable. Decent but probably won’t buy again.
5 | Good. Good whisky.
6 | Very Good. Very good whisky.
7 | Great. Would buy again.
8 | Amazing. Will try to keep this around no matter what.
9 | Incredible. Unique, complex, exceptional.
10 | Perfect.

Average Score: 7.33 - Total Reviews: 9