Kilchoman Loch Gruinart

Picture by Christophe Grossmann

Loch Gruinart is Kilchoman’s first whisky for the supermarket, so to speak. It has been distributed exclusively by the French supermarket chain Auchan for a few weeks now. Completely untypical for Kilchoman, but typical for a supermarket spirit, the information about the whisky is extremely vague. The buyer only learns that the whisky was matured both in European and American oak casks. The age is not given, the alcohol strength is 46%.
According to Peter Wills, Loch Gruinart is a vatting of predominantly bourbon barrels with some sherry cask influence from both oloroso and PX. These casks are slightly younger than those in Machir Bay and Sanaig.

I find it remarkable that Kilchoman has “burnt” the name Loch Gruinart for a whisky that is only available regionally. After Machir Bay, Loch Gorm, Coull Point, Saligo Bay and Sanaig the geographical highlights near the distillery are practically used up. I would have rather expected the name Loch Gruinart for the upcoming 3rd General Release of Kilchoman. Now the phenomenon arises that the probably most unknown Kilchoman bottling bears the best known geographical name. A circumstance that is also exploited by resourceful traders on the internet who like to charge 4-5 times the price for the cheapest of the Kilchoman whiskies – at Auchan it was on offer for 29.90 euros at times (!).

I would advise every Kilchoman fan not to pay 120 euros for a bottle of Loch Gruinart on e-bay, it’s better to go on holiday in France after COVID. I’m sure your partner will be happy, too, because you don’t have to reveal what the real reason for the trip is…

Picture by Thomas Vervoort


Update June 2021:

In the meantime, Loch Gruinart is also offered in other French supermarkets, but according to Kilchoman it will continue to be marketed exclusively through supermarkets in France. This means that the (rare) offers from French online retailers are secondary market sales.

Update November 2023:

Since November 2023, Loch Gruinart has also been released exclusively by Marks & Spencer in the UK. And now, at the latest, I have to revise my judgement that Kilchoman would have “burnt” the Loch Gruinart name for a release that is only available regionally. As Kilchoman’s supermarket whisky with the corresponding sales volumes and constant availability, the bottling has now become a Kilchoman standard release and the name fits only too well with the other general releases Machir Bay, Sanaig, Saligo Bay and Coull Point!



Cask type: Ex-Bourbon Barrels, Oloroso & PX Sherry Casks

Age: NAS

Strength: 46,0%

Phenol level: 50 ppm

Bottle volume: 0,7 l

Bottle codes:
LGT 09.09.20 20/140
LGT 24.11.20 20/150
LGT 10.12.20 20/150
LGT 11.12.20 20/188
LGT 17.02.21 21/21
LGT 09.03.21 21/31
LGT 20.07.21 21/142
LGT 22.04.22 22/73
LGT 16.09.22 22/190
LG 12.05.22 22/100
LGT 16.09.22 22/190

Barcode: 5 060210 703110

Distribution: France, Auban-exclusive