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New Islay distillery opens

Published:  23 July, 2008

Kilchoman is the first distillery to open on Islay for more than 100 years. The distillery brings the total number on the island to eight (not counting Port Ellen, which stopped production in 1983).

Located at Rockside Farm on the western side of Islay, Kilchoman is the most westerly distillery in Scotland.

The company plans to release a 5-Year-Old single malt, with 8, 10, and 12-Year-Olds to follow. It also says that its whiskies will have a typical Islay style', with the malt peated to 40-60 parts per million, so no mistaking our identity'. Fresh bourbon and refill barrels predominantly

will be used, plus a few fresh Sherry barrels.

The Kilchoman team includes partner Mark French, an English farmer who has worked on Islay for 25 years; managing director Anthony Wills, who already has his own whisky bottling company; distillery manager Malcolm Rennie, a former Ardbeg stillman; and consultant Dr Jim Swan.

The company's motto is From Barley to Bottling: 100% Islay', with all the barley (Optic and Chalice varieties) grown and malted on site.

With the set-up costs coming at around 1 million, Kilchoman intends to sell 25% of each year's output (about 60 casks in the first year).

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