Opened in 2005, Kilchoman Distillery was the first distillery to be built on Islay since Bunnahabhain in 1883. As a relatively young distillery, Kilchoman released their first single malt in 2009 (the 3-year-old Inaugural Release). In 2015 Kilchoman Distillery became fully integrated as a Farm Distillery, with the acquisition of neighbouring Rockside Farm. Thirty per cent of Kilchoman Distillery's barley is grown on Rockside Farm and goes into producing their 100% Islay Barley Whisky.
A visit to Kilchoman Distillery provides an excellent opportunity to visit one of the few Farm Distilleries in Scotland.
How to Pronounce Kilchoman
Non-chill filtered and natural coloured (no E150a), Kilchoman's core range consists of:
- Kilchoman Machir Bay Whisky : matured in both bourbon and sherry casks, with a mostly bourbon flavour profile.
- Kilchoman Sanaig Whisky : matured in both bourbon and sherry casks, with a mostly sherry flavour profile.
Kilchoman Distillery has recently (April 2019) been awarded a Gold and Silver medallion from the San Francisco World Spirits Competition - Sanaig won Gold for "being an exceptional spirit that is near the pinnacle of achievement and sets the standard for its category", and Machir Bay was awarded Silver for being "an outstanding spirit that shows refinement, finesse, and complexity as well as being amongst the best examples of its category".
Kilchoman whisky is not as widely distributed as some of the other Islay whiskies - if you're in Australia for instance, have a look at Nicks.com.au as they have an excellent range available.
Where is Kilchoman Distillery?
Kilchoman Distillery is on the west coast of Islay, Scotland, 11.7 miles (18.8 km) from Bowmore, and 19.8 miles (31.9km) from the Port Ellen Ferry Terminal.
Kilchoman Distillery Tours, Pricing & Bookings
For bookings Tel: +44 (0) 1496 850011 or book your tour online. Bookings are highly advisable to avoid disappointment.
The Visitor Centre and cafe are open from 9:45 am to 5:00 pm Monday to Friday: November 2018 – 22nd March 2019, and every day from the 25th March – 1st November 2019.
Distillery Tour: runs at 10:00 am, 2:00 pm and 3:00 pm, costs £10 and takes approximately 1 Hour: includes background information on the distillery as well as an explanation of the complete whisky making process that you will see as you move through the distillery, from the malt floor through to the bottling line. The tour includes a tasting of two Kilchoman Whiskies and a Kilchoman glass for you to take home.
Premium Tour: runs at at 11:00 am, costs £35 and takes approximately 2 Hours: includes a more in-depth look at Kilchoman's Farm Distillery philosophy, what makes their single malt so unique, and what plans they have for the future. Tasting includes a dram of Kilchoman's 100% Islay Whisky on the malt floor, a taste of Kilchoman New Make Spirit in the still house and a visit to the bonded warehouse to discuss the maturation process. A tutored tasting of the core range is provided afterwards.
Group bookings for 8 or more persons, including lunch packages, can also be arranged.
Call in advance if children under the age of 18 would like to do the tour, as limited complimentary places are available. Tastings are only for those aged 18 years and over (proof of age may be required). Take-away samples are available for designated drivers.
View the Kilchoman Distillery Booking Page for more information