Fèis Ìle 2023: Programme, Festival Release, Tasting Pack

Last year’s Islay Festival Fèis Ìle brought a record number of visitors after the Corona Pandemic-related break of two years.
Today, Kilchoman presented its program for this year’s Kilchoman Open Day, 1st June 2023, and presented the festival special bottling and a tasting pack for an online tasting.

The program again offers the proven mix of special distillery and farm tours, masterclass tastings and numerous other events.


Here an overview:


  • 10:30 – Founder’s Cask Tasting with Anthony Wills (Open to Club Members only)
  • 12:00 – Barley Varieties Exploration Tasting with James Wills and Chloe Wood
  • 14:00 – Live Online Tasting with Anthony & Peter Wills – Tasting Packs available to purchase from our online shop 
  • 14:30 – Past, Present & Future Tasting with George Wills and Antea Allegro



  • Be A Bottler – 9:30, 11:00, 12:30, 14:00, 15:30 (includes a personalised bottle of a Distillery Exclusive Single Cask).
  • Islay’s Farm Tour – 10:00, 12:00, 14:00 – Islay Heads, General Manager, will take you on a guided tour around the farm and local area, sampling a few drams along the way!
  • Range Tastings – we will be running these short guided tastings of 4 core range whiskies regularly throughout the day (Tickets can be bought on the day at the bar).


All our main production areas will be open and operational throughout the day so it’s a great chance to see everything in action and have time to chat to the experts that work at each stage, these include:

  • Still House – chat with the still house team while taking a look at our stills in action. Enjoy a dram of Machir Bay on us and learn more about where the flavours you’re tasting come from.  Take the opportunity to ask the team all your questions about the mashing, fermentation and distillation stages.
  • Malt Floor – discover the ancient art of traditional floor malting, learn more about peat, see the kiln, try turning the malt yourself and enjoy a dram of 100% Islay which has been produced from barley malted on this very floor.
  • Warehouse No. 4 – explore one of our traditional dunnage warehouses, take a picture with Cask No.1 and enjoy a wee dram of Sanaig while chatting to the team about our maturation programme and the cask types currently in the warehouses at Kilchoman.
  • Barley Fields – stop off at the field gates as you come down the drive to the distillery and see the progress of the 2023 barley varieties, Sassy and Planet.



Pictures by Kilchoman Distillery
  • The Whisky Bar will be serving a selection of past and present drams of Kilchoman limited editions, Comraich Batches and Single Casks. Driver dram bottles will also be available
  • Cocktail Bar – our friends from The Malt Room Bar in Inverness have created whisky cocktails which will be available from the bar throughout the day, fingers crossed for cocktail weather.
  • Live music throughout the day in the Music Marquee from Atlantic Reel, Rollin’ Drones and The Kilchoman Distillery Isle of Islay Pipe Band. Bring your dancing shoes for a boogie in the courtyard!
  • BBQ with delicious local meats, light bites from the Salad Bar, teas, coffees and home baking from the Café. Vegetarian and vegan options will be available.
  • All the branded gear you could ever want from the Distillery Shop
  • Games & Activities with various prizes

The whisky shop will be open from 10am stocking all our recent Limited Editions, the latest Distillery Shop Exclusive Single Casks and of course, our very special Fèis Ìle 2023 bottling.


For the Fèis Ìle special release of the year 2023, Anthony Wills selected three 100% Islay casks: two ten-year-old bourbon barrels and an eleven-year-old sherry butt and married them together. The chosen casks were filled with spirit created from Publican barley grown in Kilchomans own fields in 2011 and 2012. The barley was then malted, distilled, matured, and bottled on site at the distillery, resulting in a 100% Islay release. Limited to one bottle per person, the 1159 bottles will be sold to visitors for £115 on Kilchoman Open Day.

Anthony Wills wrote about it: “Selecting casks for our annual Fèis Ìle release is the highlight of my year.  I’ve always enjoyed the balance of character achieved by combining both bourbon and sherry casks, the bourbon barrels enhance and exhibit the character of the Kilchoman spirit whilst the sherry butt adds layers of richness and complexity.  The result is a beautifully balanced example of Kilchoman Single Farm Single Malt, a credit to the hard work of all the team, both on the farm and in the distillery.” 


For Kilchoman fans who can not attend the festival on site, the distillery is again planning live broadcasts and, as in previous years, an online tasting with Anthony and Peter Wills on 1 June 2023 at 2pm Islay time.

The tasting packs for this are available in the distillery’s online shop as of today.

Included is a Kilchoman tasting glass and 2cl samples of each of the following four bottlings:

  • Loch Gorm 2023 Edition
  • Cognac Cask Matured 2023 Edition
  • Fino Sherry Cask Matured 2023 Edition
  • Fèis Ìle 2023 Edition