Kilchoman 100% Islay Inaugural Release Launch Party

16 June 2011 marked a new milestone in the still young history of the Kilchoman distillery. Almost two years after the first Kilchoman whisky was presented with the Inaugural Release, the first bottling of a 100% Islay whisky was finally released, the whisky that characterises Kilchoman’s self-image as Islay’s only farm distillery. A whisky made from barley from the surrounding Rockside Farm, with all production steps “from barley to bottle” carried out on site.

As is well known, the rather long time gap between the two Inaugural Releases was due to the Kiln fire in February 2006. As a result, Kilchoman was only able to start 100% Islay production at the end of 2007.

Kilchoman once again organised a launch party to introduce the new release. The event was celebrated with family, friends, many whisky celebrities and numerous whisky bloggers. The well-known whisky author Charles MacLean took the opportunity to present the first 100% Islay whisky to the guests.

Kilchoman’s 100% Islay Inaugural Release was matured for three years in fresh and refill ex-bourbon barrels. It was reduced to 50% alcohol content with Islay spring water and then bottled using the recently installed manual bottling line. A total of 11,300 bottles have been bottled and will be exported to 21 countries.

Kilchoman founder Anthony Wills’ plan from the outset was to produce a malt whisky made exclusively from local ingredients. For this purpose, barley grown on Islay was used, which was then malted at Kilchoman and kilned in the company’s own kiln. The spirit distilled from this is stored separately from the conventional Kilchoman whisky and, unlike the Kilchoman Whiskies bottled to date, is only lightly peated at a maximum of 20ppm.

The distillate from Kilchoman’s own malt accounts for around 30% of the total annual production volume of just 100,000 litres of alcohol. Between 280 and 300 casks are filled with the “100% Islay” distillate each year.


Simultaneously with the launch of the “100% Islay Inaugural Release”, Kilchoman also released a 100% Islay Small Batch Edition at cask strength, packaged in an attractive, handcrafted American white oak box and sold exclusively in the Distillery Shop for £149.