Kilchoman Pedro Ximénez Small Batch Bottled in collaboration with Land Rover

Through the famous “Land Rover Tours”, where members of the Kilchoman sales and marketing team drive across Europe in a specially painted Land Rover and stop at countless locations to hold whisky events, the names Kilchoman and Land Rover are closely linked for every fan of the distillery.

Kathy Wills in front of the Classic Defender Works V8 Islay Edition

Now another collaboration has taken place, revealing not only interesting aspects of the Land Rover’s history but also deeper personal connections with the Wills family.

Land Rover has just released a highly exclusive Defender edition limited to 30 examples: the Classic Defender Works V8 Islay Edition. The exterior appearance of the vehicle was inspired by a 1965 Land Rover Series IIa (registration GXC 639C), formerly owned by Spencer Wilks, one of the founders of Land Rover, and now part of the Land Rover Classic Collection. Each vehicle is a carefully restored and rebuilt classic Defender sourced from Land Rover Classic specialists.
The vehicle is fitted with a bespoke centre cubby box, using the wood from Kilchoman whisky casks for its removable tray. The Islay Edition seats, door panels, centre armrest and sun visor are upholstered in tweed fabric from Islay Woollen Mill.

The centre cubby box with its removable tray

The island of Islay has played an important role in the development of Land Rover since the 1940s. Spencer Wilks, then managing director of the Rover Group, owned the Laggan Estate on the island and used it to develop and test off-road vehicles. In 1947, the local gamekeeper saw him driving a heavily modified Rover across the island and remarked, “That must be a Land Rover, sir.” The name stuck. This development culminated in the introduction of the Land Rover Series 1 at the Amsterdam Motor Show in 1948.

There is a special connection between the two companies Rover and Kilchoman Distillery: Kathy Wills, the wife of Kilchoman founder Anthony Wills, is the granddaughter of Spencer Wilks.

“Land Rovers are synonymous with my childhood, I have fond memories of driving around the island in all sorts of Land Rover prototypes and it’s great that Land Rover still recognise those links, both to my grandfather and to the Island of Islay.
Kathy Wills, Kilchoman Co-Founder.

On the occasion of the launch of the Land Rover Islay Edition, a special Kilchoman release – a Pedro Ximénez Small Batch – was bottled. Selected by Kathy and Anthony Wills, exactly 639 bottles have been released, the same number that was on the original registration of Spencer Wilks’ Land Rover IIa. Each vehicle comes with a complimentary bottle. However, those who don’t feel like spending £230,000 on a Land Rover can also order the bottle (without the vehicle) for £79.95 + shipping from The Whisky Exchange.


Pictures by Kilchoman Distillery

Cask types: approx. 40% Ex-Bourbon Barrels, approx. 60% Pedro Ximénez Sherry Hogsheads

Date Filled: unknown

Date Bottled: 26.04.2023

Age: NAS (approx. 5 yo)

Strength: 51,3 % abv

Phenol level: 50 ppm

Number of bottles: 639

Bottle volume: 0,7 l

Bottle code: 26/4/23 22/228

Barcode: 5 060210 705633

Market: UK