You’d be forgiven if you thought the name of this dram would more aptly fit within a video game: In Escape from Mordor, the final level is called “Kill Choman: Vanquish the Sanaig,” in which the Sanaig is the massive demon “boss” you have to take out before you can advance into the antechamber where Choman, the duplicitous and mean-spirited friend of Gollum, lies dying, so you don’t end up having to kill him after all. But to lay this review over such a framework would require noting that the massive demon boss erupts from fire that smells like a pile of burning carbon fiber bicycle tires (the top-end kind), and he emerges with a coconut in one hand and a giant vanilla bean in the shape of a scimitar in the other. Also, coming into that boss scene, Samwise was ironically playing a dirge on a segment of Moroccan garden hose. Oh yeah, and he played it with his nose. It was nonetheless a hauntingly beautiful dirge.
The mouth in such a conceit would be sets and cinematography much more elegant than expected, especially given the earthiness of the scene. And it’s subtle, like the shiitake mushroom soufflé Pippin made for the crew before you all left Hobbiton.
But the finish, oh my, the finish… it fires on the tongue like the beginning of getting drunk. It is the whisky equivalent to finishing off a legendarily difficult boss in a video game on the first try, and having your friends sit in awe as they witness it. The finish is briny badassery in a liquid form waiting to be unleashed, it is the satisfaction of unexpected, but dazzling, pyrotechnics, it is a can of whoop ass standing ready to be opened, it is a triumph of spirit.
The Kilchoman Sanaig is Kill Bill: The Appendage Lop-Off—In other words, it’s smoothly done, devilishly good, and satisfying in unexpected ways.
–Our thanks to Kilchoman and ImpEx for the sample!