Timeline 2013

  • The average cask filling rate is now about 21 casks per week, mostly fresh ex-bourbon barrels from the Buffalo Trace Distillery, but still sherry butts, too.
  • February: Robin Bignal, who had already worked part time at Kilchoman from August 2010 to January 2013, becomes a full time member of the production team after Gavin Douglas had left Kilchoman.
The later Production Manager Robin Bignal spreading malt on Kiln floor.
  • First week of April: A heat exchanger for the wash still is installed. Previously, the wash still was charged with 3,000 litres of fresh wash at a temperature of 20 degress C and after the first distillation, 2,000 litres of hot effluents (pot ale) at a temperature of about 99 degrees C were discharged. With the new heat exchanger, the heat from the effluents is now transferred to the fresh wash, preheating it to around 70 degrees C. This shortens the boiling time from 55 to 25 minutes, which results in a significant saving of steam energy.
The new heat exchanger and wash charger.
  • April 8: “Loch Gorm” is released. Named after the famous lake near the distillery, Kilchoman now gives its annual Sherry Cask release its own name. Aged for 5 years in Oloroso Sherry Butts and finished for 6 weeks in Oloroso hogsheads. Later it wins a gold medal at the IWSC Awards (International Wine and Spirits Competition).
  • April: with the recruitment of Michael Barford the production team increases from 2 to 3 people.
Michael Barford
  • April: at the 6th Vienna Whisky Fair, James Wills conducts a master class introducing the distillery and tasting 4 bottlings: “100% Islay”, “Machir Bay 2012” and “Machir Bay 2013” and the first “Loch Gorm” edition
  • May 30: for the Kilchoman Open Day at the annual Fèis Ìle, a vatting of two 5 year old bourbon barrels (# 246 and # 247) from 2008 will be released, bottled in just over 500 bottles with an alcohol content of 60.1%.
    During the Open Day there will again be a variety of programme items such as barrel tastings, special guided tours, master classes, live music from the Islay Pipe Band. Those who were lucky enough to get a place at the so-called “Club-Tasting” even had the opportunity to taste a sip of the legendary cask No. 1 (2005).
  • July 15: the 3rd release of “100% Islay” is released. It is a vatting of four and five year old 1st fill ex-Bourbon barrels. The circulation is 10.000 bottles.
  • End of September: the newly built warehouse in Conisby is completed. This will enable Kilchoman to stop storing casks in foreign warehouses. The storage capacity of the new warehouse is 10,000 barrels on 2,400 m2: twice the amount of barrels Kilchoman has filled to date. Unlike traditional Dunnage warehouses, the decision was made to concrete the entire floor and not just the paths between the rows of barrels. At the end of the year, all Kilchoman barrels are stored there.
Conisby Warehouse.
  • October 7: official presentation of the “Vintage 2007”. This bottling, limited to 10,000 bottles, marks the first time a 6-year-old Kilchoman is launched on the market. The bottling is a vatting of fresh and refill ex-Bourbon barrels filled in 2007.
  • 12 and 13 October: Aquavitae fair in Mülheim: Peter Wills, Sales Manager of Kilchoman and son of Anthony Wills presents among other things the new “Vintage 2007”.
  • 21-25 October 2013: German Tasting Tour: Kilchoman manager John MacLellan presents the latest Kilchoman bottlings at tastings in five German whisky stores (Wein und Whisky Reifferscheid, Bonn-Mehlem; Friedrich Bremer Weinhandlung, Göttingen; Whiskyland Oranienburg, Flickenschild Whisky & Cigars, Itzehoe and Scoma, Jever). Exclusively for the Tasting Tour, the German importer Alba Import launched a “Small Batch for Germany” together with Kilchoman. Three five-year-old fresh bourbon barrels were selected by John MacLellan and aged for 3 months in Oloroso sherry barrels.
  • November 4: the 2nd Kilchoman Club Bottling is released. Eight 1st fill ex Bourbon barrels filled in October 2008 were selected by Anthony Wills and John MacLellan and finished in Oloroso Sherry Butts. Bottled in cask strength, these barrels will make about 2000 bottles. The selling price is £ 75.00. Curiosity on the side: At the end of 2013 there will still be a few bottles available in the distillery shop (!!).
  • December: at the end of the year Kilchoman reports a new production record: just over 130,000 litres of pure alcohol have been produced.