$$$ — 46% ABV — ~5 years
If scotch fans are skeptical whether people will actually buy NAS (no age statement) whisky, the apparent success of the upstart distillers Kilchoman [kiel-ho-man] must have escaped them.
The counter-argument is Kilchoman owes all its success to the whisky boom, which allows for these kinds of niche products to come to market. It's the free trade Vienna roast Malabar of the Scotch world.
Or something. Whatever.
I may not know much about coffee but even if you don't know much about Scotch, that doesn't mean you should skip out on Kilchoman, Islay's farm distillery. Machir Bay [mahk-er bay] is their perennial brand and is a great example how a small operation single malt can have a great deal of balance. Its peat smoke, all done on-site in a cute little furnace, wafts through the entire sip without being too hot or overbearing. This allows for subtle notes, like lime zest and honey, to really show themselves. It's an intense experience.
While Kilchoman is now releasing lovely 10 year old whiskies (in incredibly small numbers) they have absolutely proved age is just a number. They've also been experimenting with different barrel finishes, like Port, but unless you intend to sit on their website and order a bottle hours after it's released, the only Kilchoman you're likely to find is Machir Bay. And that's just fine.
Kilchoman is located on Islay in Argyll & Bute in Southwestern Scotland. Established in 2005 by Jim Swan and Ron Gibson, it remains an independent distiller.