Kilchoman

Kilchoman distillery, which sits on the Isle of Islay, is one of the smallest distilleries in Scotland. For over 124 years the Kilchoman distillery was the first to be founded on the Isle of Islay.

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Information about the Distillery
159 Bottles
Scotland, Islay
-6.430783 55.787017
Active
1 x 3,000 l
Normal
1 x 1,600 l
Normal
4 x 6,000 l
1 t
2005
140,000 l
http://www.kilchomandistillery.com/
Average tasting notes Tasting Notes
Calculated from 202 Tasting Notes
i
Nosing
Peat Smoke:
Sweet:
Fruit:
Vanilla:
Maritime Notes:
Spices:
Seaweed:
Bonfire Smoke:
Zitrus:
Herbs:
Lemon:
Honey:
Berries:
Sherry:
Medicinal Smoke:
Nuts:
Oak:
Heather:
Caramel:
Malt:
Salt:
Chocolate:
Barley:
Lime:
Alcohol:
Raisin:
Oil:
Ham:
Pear:
Cherry:
Herb:
Iodine:
Wheat:
Peach:
Chili:
Grass:
Grape:
Orange:
Floral:
Grapefruit:
Cinnamon:
Apple:
Banana:
Dark Chocolate:
Hay:
Pepper:
Tobacco:
Fig:
Clove:
Tropical Fruit:
Mint:
Strawberry:
Leather:
Melon:
Hazelnut:
Nutmeg:
Tasting
Peat Smoke:
Sweet:
Spices:
Fruit:
Vanilla:
Maritime Notes:
Oak:
Sherry:
Caramel:
Chili:
Nuts:
Herb:
Chocolate:
Salt:
Zitrus:
Malt:
Pepper:
Oil:
Seaweed:
Dark Chocolate:
Bonfire Smoke:
Herbs:
Berries:
Lemon:
Heather:
Alcohol:
Honey:
Coffee:
Lime:
Cherry:
Dried Fruit:
Raisin:
Medicinal Smoke:
Orange:
Tobacco:
Blackberry:
Ham:
Pear:
Clove:
Grape:
Grapefruit:
Pineapple:
Grass:
Apple:
Banana:
Barley:
Hay:
Leather:
Green Apple:
Peach:
Cinnamon:
Cake:
Red Currant:
Finish
Peat Smoke:
Sweet:
Spices:
Fruit:
Malt:
Oak:
Herb:
Pepper:
Sherry:
Maritime Notes:
Coffee:
Chocolate:
Vanilla:
Herbs:
Heather:
Dark Chocolate:
Chili:
Berries:
Nuts:
Salt:
Seaweed:
Oil:
Grape:
Raisin:
Bonfire Smoke:
Cherry:
Honey:
Alcohol:
Iodine:
Blackberry:
Ham:
Pineapple:
Dried Fruit:
Apple:
Plum:
Walnut:
Barley:
Leather:
Floral:
Caramel:
Wheat:
Ginger:
Nutmeg:
Clove:
Cinnamon:
Kiwi:
Cake:
Strawberry:
Details about the Distillery

The Whisky

Kilchoman distillery, which sits on the Isle of Islay, is one of the smallest distilleries in Scotland. Considering this, the distillery's range of official bottlings is predictably small, but provides a wide range of taste. The distillery's core expression is 'Machir Bay', which was launched in 2012 to enormous critical acclaim. The bottling won best in class at the IWSC awards. The other instalments in the official range include 100% Islay, Loch Grom, Single Cask, Port Cask Matured, Original Cask Strength, Madeira Cask Matured, and a range of Vintage Bottlings. At present, there have not yet been any independent bottlings from the distillery. 

The Production

Despite it's isolated location on Islay, Kilchoman is one of the few distilleries in Scotland that can claim that they perform every stage of the production process on-site. One of the reason's that this is more achievable for the distillery is its small size. The distillery's production capacity sits at only 120'000 litres a year. The distillery draws it's water from the Allt Gleann Osamail burn, which lays adjacent to the distillery. 

The Kilchoman Distillery on the Isle of Islay

The Pot Stills

Kilchoman operates with only one wash and one spirit still. The spirit still has a capacity of 2'000 litres, while the wash still has a capacity of 3'000. The spirit still has a tall, narrow conical neck, and a wide spherical lid. The wash still has a traditional 'Speyside' shape, which also features a wide lid, but a less narrow neck than that of the spirit still. 

The pot stills and the spirit safe of the Kilchoman Distillery.

The Maltings

In something of a remarkable venture in this modern era of industrially sources in which malts can be made to order, the barley (which is of the Optics and Chalice variety) that is used at Kilchoman is actually grown in the field next to the distillery. It is then laid out to malt on the malting floors in the distillery.  The malts that are used in the distillery's production are peated, although the level of smokiness is not always the same, as the requirements of each bottling are different. The peat that is used to dry the malt is also sourced form Islay, making the entire whisky production an isle affair. However, the distillery has deviated slightly from its plan to be entirely self-sustainable - a portion of the malt is actually sourced from Port Ellen, which located on the south side of the island.

The Warehouses

Before the spirit is casked, it is reduced to 63.5 ABV. Kilchoman uses first-fill bourbon barrels from Buffalo Trace distillery in Kentucky, and first fill Oloroso Sherry hogsheads and butts from Miguel Martin, Jerez, Spain. 80% of the distillery's output is aged in the bourbon casks, with the remaining 20% filling the Oloroso. The distillery's warehouses are still under construction, so the approximately 3'000 casks that have been filled to date are currently being hosted at other distilleries' warehouses on Islay. 

Some warehouses of the Kilchoman Distillery.

The History

When Kilchoman distillery was constructed, it was the first new distillery to be built on Islay for over 120 years. The distillery also has the distinction of being the most westerly distillery in Scotland. Kilchoman distillery was established with the distinct ambition of being an entirely self-sustainable distillery and business venture. The distillery was built in 2005, with the first spirit being distilled the same year. Anthony Wills, who remains the distillery's managing director, founded the site. Wills was previously the owner of an independent bottling company, which was how he first became familiar with whisky distillation, and discovered his passion for it. Since the distillery's opening it has been met with great critical acclaim – not just for the high quality of its whisky, but also for the self-sustainable nature of the distillery. 

Visitor's Centre

Kilchoman has a small visitor's centre on-site, which has a very in-depth guide for visitors about the process of whisky distillation. A tour of the distillery, gift shop and café are also offered at the centre. 

The shop of the Kilchoman Distillery.

Chronological rating history

User Notes about the Distillery

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