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Kilchoman (pron. Kil-Ho-Man), is the first distillery to be established on Islay in over 124 years. It was started in 2005 by Anthony Wills, who ran an independent single cask bottling company for 8 years, and was immersed in building the ultimate farm distillery, where he’d take Whisky back to its roots.
The Kilchoman distillery is unique for several reasons. It's one of only six Scotch distilleries to carry out traditional floor maltings, and one of only two to do the malting, distilling, maturing and bottling on premise. Furthermore, they grow their own Barley on the farm itself, whereas most other distilleries purchase it around the country (or even abroad). They use 30% of their own barley, and the balance is purchased from Port Ellen Maltings. It’s one of the smallest Scotch distilleries, with an annual output of 120,000 litres, and when you talk about artisanal, this is as good as it gets with Scotch Whisky. They've been rocking it ever since they started, and we should all be mega excited to see where it leads to next.
The Kilchoman Distillery has an isolated location, on a farm on the west coast of Islay.
Kilchoman is the first distillery to be opened on Islay in 124 years. It was built in 2005, which was the same year as the first production. Anthony Wills had his own independent bottling company, when he decided to build a farm distillery.
Rockside Farm was chosen as the location since it had the buildings Wills needed. In 2010, an experienced manager, John MacLellan joined the distillery.
Kilchoman draws its water from the Allt Gleann Osamail burn. It has one wash still with a capacity of just 3,000 liters and a spirit still with 2,000 liters of capacity. This is the main equipment.
The Optics and Chalice types of barley are sourced from the farm itself. A portion of the maltings is also sourced from Port Ellen. The barley used is generally peated, and the peat used is dug from Islay.