All about making whisky
The first distillery built on the Isle of Islay for over a century, Kilchoman celebrated its third birthday in September 2009, with its new spirit finally reaching the age required for it to be legally called a single malt. Built using the model of a “farmhouse-distillery”, Kilchoman makes a point of distilling its new spirit from barley grown on its own land. Some 100 tonnes are harvested and malted at the distillery, providing 30% of their needs. The rest comes from the maltings at Port Ellen. Its first barrel of new make spirit was filled in 2005.
Located to the south-west of the Scottish coast and to the south of the isle of Jura, Islay constitutes a unique region in the world of whisky. It is among the islands that are the most exposed to the wind and storms. Regularly swept by sea spray, a quarter of the island is covered with peat bogs, but there is also fertile land suitable for barley. In order to adapt to the climate and geological conditions, the distilleries have always dried their malt using the famous, widely available peat. As a result, the island’s malts are among Scotland’s smokiest, earthiest and most iodized. Islay is also home to the highest number of distilleries per square metre in Scotland. No less than eight distilleries are currently active (Ardbeg, Bowmore, Bruichladdich, Bunnahabhain, Caol Ila, Kilchoman, Lagavulin and Laphroaig), and while numerous others have closed, such as Port Ellen, there is one under construction in Gartbreck. Thanks to a tradition that has been passed from one generation to the next, Islay offers the ultimate expression of peaty whisky.
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