Mit Glenfarclas holst Du Dir einen wuchtigen, würzigen und Sherry getriebenen Whisky ins Glas. Seit Generationen in der Hand der Familie Grant ist Glenfarclas heute eine der letzten Destillerien in schottischer Hand. Du bekommst einen ehrlichen, ungefärbten Whisky - einen echten Oldschool Scotch!
About Kilchoman - 125 years can be quite a drag
What Makes Kilchoman whisky so special? The Kilchoman distillery has established itself as an indispensable part of the whisky landscape of the legendary island of Islay. To understand the scope of the project, we have to go back to the early 2000s. Whisky, while popular, did not enjoy nearly the international attention it enjoys today. At the moment, new whisky distilleries are starting up almost every month. So today it's hard to imagine how unusual and bold the construction of Kilchoman was back then. Because the construction of such an unusual, artisanal distillery was practically new territory up to that point. Today we are fortunate that Anthony Wills has fulfilled his dream of having his own farm distillery.
It had been almost 125 years since the construction of Bunnahabhain and Bruichladdich for a new distillery to see the light of day on Islay. Anthony Wills eventually built the small Kilchoman farm distillery on Rockside Farm. Thus he revived Scottish whisky tradition. As with Kilchoman, whisky was mainly produced in past centuries. Many farms had small kilns and made small batches of whisky from the surplus of their crops. Kilchoman continues this tradition and grows barley himself in the fields surrounding the distillery. This allows Kilchoman to cover part of the production of their heavily smoky single malt whisky with 100% raw materials from the island of Islay. The name of the bottling Kilchoman 100% Islay is therefore not a marketing stunt.
So Kilchoman brought back the almost extinct genus of farm distilleries. Today there are again some farm distilleries in Scotland with Daftmill, Lochlea, Arbikie, Ballindalloch and Aberargie. Anthony Wills fulfilled a dream with Kilchoman. Himself - and many malt lovers worldwide. Enjoy the exciting single malts from Kilchoman now.
What does Kilchoman's name mean? The name comes from the translation: Church of Choman (= Saint Chomanus).
3 reasons to love Kilchoman
1) Because the flame is kept burning.
2) Because whisky tradition is being revived here.
3) Because starting a whisky distillery is so endearingly unreasonable.
How does Kilchoman whisky taste?
Kilchoman tastes just like what it is: a handcrafted Islay Whisky. Strong peat smoke mixes with sweet malt and dry notes of cereals at Kilchoman. Depending on the cask maturation, sometimes citrus fruits are emphasized more, sometimes the berry notes and dried fruits. Kilchoman whiskys are bare usually no age statement. When you take a sip of this powerful and authentic Islay malt, you won't worry about that. Kilchoman is a single malt for purists: no chill filtration, no color additives, a lot of manual work and bottled in the distillery with a powerful (at least) 46% ABV. - What is left to us but to applaud.
How is Kilchoman Single Malt made?
Kilchoman is classified as a Single Malt Scotch Whisky. In this case, the law requires the whisky to be made from 100% malted barley in a distillery in Scotland. To be classified as a Scotch whisky, the whisky must be aged in oak casks in Scotland for a minimum of three years and bottled in Scotland. Most malt whisky distilleries in Scotland no longer take on at least one of these steps themselves. Kilchoman, on the other hand, is at least partially involved in every production step.
Some of the barley used for the malt whisky is grown on Rockside Farm, which now belongs entirely to Kilchoman. While some of the major distilleries get their barley from England, France and Russia, at Kilchoman around a third comes from the immediate vicinity. This is not only nice for us connoisseurs from a romantic point of view, but also protects the environment at the same time due to the significantly reduced CO2 emissions of transport.
Malting is a production step that almost all Scottish distilleries have now outsourced to industrial maltings. Here, too, Kilchoman insists on malting and smoking around 30% of the production itself. The germinating barley is spread out on our own malting floors and turned regularly. In Kilchoman's own two kilns, the malt is smoked over peat. Kilchoman's peated malt has a smoke level of approximately 20 ppm. Kilchoman buys the rest of the malt it needs from the Port Ellen maltings, which has around 50 ppm smoke content.
In 2019, another distillery was added to Kilchoman, which increased the production capacity from the original 200,000 liters to around 480,000 lpa (liters per annum). This is still relatively small compared to the average in Scotland. For comparison: What Kilchoman currently produces in one year of New Make Spirit, the neighboring distillery Caol Ila creates in one month.
Kilchoman now operates two Semi Lauter Mash Tuns, each with a capacity of 1.2 tonnes. Kilchoman ferments its wort for around 90 hours in the washbacks (fermentation vats) made of stainless steel with a capacity of 6000 liters. Until the expansion, two pot stills were used for distillation. Today, the farm distillery has four stills at its disposal.
Kilchoman has a nice visitor center with a small cafe. A welcome and not to be underestimated asset if you are touring Islay distilleries. Because eating between the distillery tours can sometimes become a problem on the lonely island. After all, you can't live on whisky alone.
On the history of Kilchoman
In 2002, plans were first announced to build a farm distillery on the old Rockside Farm in north-west Islay. The little distillery is Islay's westernmost distillery and the only one not on the seafront. In June 2005 the time had finally come. Kilchoman became the first new whisky distillery to start production in 125 years. The first distillate entered the cask on December 14, 2005. In 2006, production had to be stopped for a few weeks after a fire in the malthouse. In 2007, the equipment was expanded to include two new washbacks.
Kilchoman's first single malt whisky, the Inaugural Release, was released in 2009. The first bottle sold was sold at auction for £5,400. Other bottles of the Inaugural Release also fetch high prices among collectors. In 2015, Anthony Wills bought Rockside Farm, on which the distillery is located.
In 2011 the Kilchoman 100% Islay was released. Kilchoman Machir Bay followed in 2012 as the first standard bottling. In 2013 the first Kilchoman Loch Gorm was launched. In 2016, the sherry cask successor Kilchoman Sanaig was launched as a standard bottling. In the spring of 2019, a second distillery was opened on the site. Kilchoman was thus able to more than double its production capacity. The expansion included another malting floor, a new kiln and a fully automated bottling line.
Recommendations in the Kilchoman range
Kilchoman's core range is small but of high quality. Here the great character of the distillery is wonderfully depicted.
Kilchoman Machir Bay is the flagship of the distillery. It was mostly matured in ex-bourbon casks. It therefore shows delicious citrus notes of lime and lemon, which combine perfectly with the heavy smoke aroma. On the palate it adds notes of toffee and roasted barley. Simply delicious and an absolute recommendation! At the International Wine & Spirits Competition IWSC 2022, Machir Bay was awarded a gold medal and 98/100 points.
Kilchoman Sanaig is the fitting counterpart to Machir Bay. Here the focus is placed on the sherry casks during cask aging. In the mixture of ex-bourbon and Oloroso sherry casks, the sherry aromas clearly dominate. The strong smoke combines here with ripe dark fruits. Simply delicious. It's not for nothing that the Kilchoman Sanaig 2016 was voted the best single malt without age statement at the International Wine & Spirits Competition (IWSC). In 2022 he was awarded gold and 95/100 points.
Kilchoman facts & figures
Address: Rockside Farm, Bruichladdich , Isle of Islay , Argyll, PA49 7UT
Founded: 2005 by Anthony Wills
Region: Islay Whisky
Owner: Kilchoman Distillery Co. (Anthony Wills)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Smoke: Heavily peated/heavily smoky
Capacity: approx. 480,000 lpa (liters per year)
Stills: 2 spirit stills (1,600 l & 2,070 l), 2 wash stills (3,000 l & 3,230 l)
Washbacks: 14, stainless steel (6000 l)
Mashtun: 2 Semi Lauter, 1.2 tons
Water: Allt Gleann Osamail Burn
Visitor Centre: Yes
Telephone: +44 (0)1496 / 850 011
Directions to the Kilchoman Distillery2>
Fancy a portion of smoke and sherry? Then you have the choice between the Laphroaig PX Sherry and the Laphroaig 10 Years Sherry Oak Finish. The Laphroaig PX Cask is a generous variant for travel retail in the 1 liter bottle. The maturation in Pedro Ximenez sherry casks gives it great fruit notes, marzipan and dark chocolate. The Laphroaig 10 Years Sherry Oak Finish, on the other hand, has an age indication of 10 years and was finished in Spanish Oloroso sherry casks. Barbecue aromas, bacon and maple syrup as well as spicy forest honey come out of the glass. Both bottlings have an aromatic vol. of 48% and are a recommendation. It's best to just compare directly.
The Laphroaig Four Oak is the travel retail equivalent of the Laphroaig PX without the sherry cask aging. The Laphroaig Four Oak also comes in a 1 liter bottle with a mild 40% vol. It is matured in a combination of ex-bourbon barrels, quarter casks, virgin American oak barrels and European oak hogsheads. These barrels clearly emphasize the light fruity and maritime-smoky character of Laphroaig. In a direct comparison, we would probably go for the Laphroaig Quarter Cask with 48% vol.
The Laphroaig Lore was presented a few years ago as "THE" Laphroaig, which combines all the properties of the other bottlings. It is referred to as "The richest of the rich". And in fact it seems to us that the Laphroaig Lore is this the skilful composition of different cask types such as quarter casks, hogsheads, ex-bourbon and Oloroso sherry casks make this Laphroaig special.Jim Murray named the Laphroaig Lore in his whisky Bible 2019 the best whisky in the category single malt Scotch whisky without age statement.
The annual Laphroaig 10 Years Cask Strength bottlings are always worth buying. The Laphroaig 10 Years Cask Strength is bottled in batches and at strong cask strength. These are the Laphroaigs for the aficionado and whisky connoisseur. With volume percentages above the 55% mark, unvarnished, brute aromas come into your glass. Each batch is individual as the cask composition varies. You absolutely have to try it!
The Kilchoman 100% Islay Limited Edition is bottled in batches. This is the purest form of Kilchoman as all the barley here comes from the fields of Islay. Bottled at a strong 50% vol. Here you can feel the concentrated aromas of the Islay Distillery. Kilchoman 100% Islay is launched as a vintage bottling and is usually sold out quickly. It's best to grab it as soon as we have it in stock. The Kilchoman 100% Islay also got a gold medal and 95/100 points at the IWSC 2022.
The same applies to Kilchoman Loch Gorm. This special edition is also limited and is reissued annually. Kilchoman Loch Gorm matures exclusively in sherry casks. Flavors in your nosing glass range from bacon-wrapped dates to jam and beach campfires. A must for every whisky lover to try this intense Islay malt. Grab it when you get the chance!
In addition, Kilchoman also regularly bottles exciting limited editions, such as the Kilchoman Madeira Cask Matured. The Kilchoman Single Cask Bottlings have become coveted objects for lovers and whisky collectors. With the single cask bottlings you can get to know Kilchoman from a completely new side. Unusual casks are also used here for aging, such as port wine, wine, Madeira, fino sherry, rum and mezcal casks. The Kilchoman Coull Point is available in travel retail, consisting of four and five year old first-fill ex-bourbon barrels and a finish in Oloroso sherry butts. Kilchoman Machir Bay Cask Strength Scotch whisky was awarded a Gold Medal and 97/100 points at IWSC 2021.