From the middle of the year, the Kilchoman Distillery project will now begin to become reality. Work will begin in May 2004 with the conversion of some of the old farm buildings. Thus the former mill will become the Stillhouse, one of the old stables will become the Visitor Centre. The work is being carried out by Woodrow Construction Ltd, a local construction company that was also involved in restarting the Ardbeg distillery.
April: After a two-and-a-half-year break, the Kilchoman website is revived with the start of the construction work. With a much more appealing design, it will in future provide information about the distillery project, the people involved and the progress of the construction work.
May: Even though there is not much to see on the future distillery site yet, Kilchoman already took part in the famous annual whisky festival “Fèis Ìle”. Kilchoman Open Day was 31 May. The 200 or so visitors who made their way to Rockside Farm were treated to a barbecue with products from Mark French’s “Islay Fine Food Co.” and beer from the recently opened “Islay Ales” brewery, in which the German “whisky pope” Walter Schobert, who lives on Islay, is also involved, as well as a lecture by the well-known whisky author Charles MacLean on the history of the art of distillation. He devoted himself above all to the “MacBeatha hypothesis”, which assumes that the area around Kilchoman (i.e. the west coast of Islay) could be the cradle of whisky distillation in Scotland.
9 June: Distillery pig presented: While many distilleries have a cat as their mascot and Ardbeg with “Shorty” a dog, Kilchoman as a farm distillery goes a little different way. “Lucy”, a Cornwall black pig, is already in residence, only her skills as a rodent control still need to be tested. But Kilchoman is confident that with a little bit of training she will pick up what is required of her very quickly.