Stillhouse expansion completed
With the installation of a panoramic window in the gable of the new stillhouse, another important step in the expansion program to double production (we reported) was completed. The extension of the stillhouse to double its length includes two new stills identical in size and shape, a new mashtun and a new malt transport system; 6 new washbacks were installed in the rear part of the old malting floor. This increases the distillery’s maximum production capacity to 480,000 litres of alcohol per year.
The expansion programme started in 2017 with the construction of the new kiln/malting floor building, which was completed in 2018, continued with the extension of the stillhouse and the installation of the new equipment this year and is expected to be completed in about 3-4 months with the completion of the new visitor centre. In parallel to this work, further warehouses are being built to accommodate the many newly filled barrels. In 2018, Kilchoman was filling 38 casks per week and this number will quickly rise to over 70 casks per week, which will require significantly more storage space.
About 6 million pounds sterling have been put into the expansion program, and in Anthony Will’s words, “practically built a second distillery”. Great care was taken to ensure that the newly installed stills, mash tuns and washbacks are exact counterparts of the old ones so as not to change the character of the distillate. In addition, the new equipment should also allow experiments with different yeast types or isolated distillations with changed parameters. Obviously, there are still some innovations to be expected.