Nick and Nikki continue their mini-tour of Islay with a visit to Kilchoman Distillery – the smallest and youngest on the island. Nikki shares the trip highlights in this the second of three Whisky Galore - Islay style blogs.
Next stop Kilchoman. We were shown around by Anthony Wills, the owner and MD, who is passionate about what he does. The smallest and youngest distillery on Islay it is really punching above its weight. Their new award winning Sanaig is really doing well.
We sadly missed the maltings by a few days, but saw exactly where they do it. We were so impressed by the new buildings - notably the brand new cask storage facilities that are going up around the site. It is obviously a distillery on the up and doing extremely well. We particularly enjoyed watching the bottling process for the whisky as very few of the distilleries carry out the actual bottling process on site in the distillery. Most, if not all, send the casks off to a bottling plant on the mainland.
After the tour we enjoyed some sampling with Anthony & his wife Cathy – we tried the delicious new Sanaig – smooth yet smoky and the perfect nip after a hard day on the hill – or a quiet day reading your book in the snug!
As a footnote to Kilchoman, we were impressed by the variety of malts available, the choice and consistent appearance of their bottles and labelling - their marketing is indeed excellent. This is borne out by the sensibly designed layout of the distillery shop and their shop merchandise which is top quality, tasteful and well presented. They also have a super restaurant with a great menu serving beautifully cooked local food. Well worth a visit as they've got all the elements of the customer experience just right.
Next Blog> Islay’s beaches & birdlife and a final distillery visit to Ardbeg
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