Kilchoman Distillery

Kilchoman Tasting

Today I had the pleasure of attending a whisky tasting led by Peter Wills, son of Kilchoman distillery owner Anthony Wills. Naturally then, there were some fantastic Kilchomans lined up for us to explore, and Peter was able to share his wealth of knowledge with us. A full description of the whiskies can be found below, but first a short introduction to Kilchoman distillery.

Kilchoman distillery was opened in 2005, becoming the first new distillery on Islay in 124 years. Located in a farmhouse where all processes from malting, distilling, maturing and bottling take place, Kilchoman provides an interesting insight into what a traditional whisky distillery may have looked like two centuries ago. Correspondingly, Kilchoman is by far the smallest distillery on Islay in terms of capacity, and indeed one of the smallest in Scotland.

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Kilchoman Machir Bay 2014

Kilchoman Machir Bay 2014Distillery: Kilchoman
Region: Islay
Age: Vatting of 5 and 6 year old malt
abv: 46%

Opened in 2005, Kilchoman was the first distillery to be built on Islay in 124 years. Like so many whisky distilleries in the old days, Kilchoman is built on a farm that produces its own barley. While most distilleries have gone on to become large production sites, Kilchoman is as of yet very small, giving a unique insight into what a whisky distillery might have looked like two centuries ago. Indeed, all processes, from malting, distilling, maturing and bottling, currently take place on the farm, making Kilchoman unique on Islay. This means that the distillery is well worth a visit, and I can certainly recommend their tour!

From the very moment that its first spirit became whisky, Kilchoman has boasted a large fan base. This is impressive, given that many whiskies at 3 years old are quite undrinkable, let alone marketable. Yet Kilchoman’s raw spirit is of an exceptional quality, allowing for its whisky to be bottled at such a tender age. While I love the youthful, intrepid character of their whiskies, I can’t wait to taste what Kilchoman will be like after a few years’ extra maturation. For now all the signs indicate Kilchoman have a very bright future ahead of them!

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