Kilchoman Distillery (2012 visit)

In the spring of 2012 we were on Islay and were looking forward very much to the visit to Kilchoman Distillery. This is a very new distillery, founded in 2005, and the first to be founded in 124 years on Islay. Located on a beautiful spot near Machir Bay, on the Rockside Farm, between the green hills on Islay. One of their expressions is named after Machir Bay, a beautiful bay, with kilometers of beautiful sandy beaches. A place where you think you have arrived at a tropical location on a sunny day, and not Scotland.

We went to Machir Bay for a stroll on the beach, and it was windy but sunny, it was just a bliss to be out there. We could imagine our selfs sitting there in the dunes enjoying a lovely dram of the Kilchoman Machir Bay expression, with the sounds of the ocean in front, and the green hills and sounds of sheep in the back. Kilchoman is a farm distillery, and you see that they use everything again on the farm or in the distillery. About 30% of the barley used is from their own grown barley, the rest is bought in from Port Ellen Maltings. They have their own malting floor, and process about 2 tons per batch for 4 days, so 100 tons in total there.

Arriving at the farm, you see clearly the combination of the two. The cows on one side and the distillery on the other. It is a lovely place, not so big, but very nice, sure something you should visit when on Islay. After looking around in the visitor centre with a shop of expressions of Kilchoman and local products, we had a bit to eat in the cafe. Then it was time for the tour to start, and with a little group we walked around the distillery. A lovely place and nice tour.

In the still house are a spirit and wash still who belong along the smallest in Scotland. They produce about 100.000 liters per year, and have the target set for 2013 on 140.000 liters. At the moment they are looking into expanding their warehouses if we understood correctly. They use a Portues Mill. In 2011 they started with bottling them selfs at the distillery, and have a capacity of 100 cases per day. Founded in 2005, and released the first expression in september 2009, a 3 year old 1st single malt release. We understood that they do 6 mashes, 12 distillation runs, and 22 cask fills per week.

They use first fill bourbon barrels from Buffalo Trace (Kentucky, USA) and first fill olorosso sherry buts & hogsheads from Miquel Martin (Jerez, Spain)…

When we are back on Islay in the future we have to look them up and do an update on this distillery…


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