KILCHOMAN Farm Distillery, which is situated on the west of Islay and takes its name from the surrounding parish, is the first new distillery to be built on the island for 124 years.
It stands on the site of Rockside Farm and, prior to the opening of the Abhainn Dearg Distillery on Lewis in 2007, it was the most westerly distillery in Scotland.
Production at the new distillery began in 2005 and the barley used is grown on site and malted at the distillery and is augmented by supplies provided by the Port Ellen Maltings.
Kilchoman is one of only six Scottish distillers still carrying out traditional floor-maltings and prides itself on ensuring that all parts of the production processes are carried out on the island.
The founder and managing director is Anthony Wills, who ran his own single cask bottling company before launching out on his Kilchoman venture. Islay was chosen as the location for the farm distillery because of its worldwide reputation for producing quality malts. The Rockside farm premises provided ideal buildings for the project as well as its reputation for producing the best malting barley on the island.
The owner was no stranger to the island as his wife, Kathy, was a member of the famous Wilks family of the Rover Car Company and they owned and operated the Laggan Estates for more than six decades.
The Wills, as well as being worthy ambassadors for their product, are heavily involved in the day-to- day running of the distillery, as are their three sons, Peter, James and George.
Kilchoman distillers continue to be the main sponsor of the island pipe band and the annual beach rugby tournament as well as supporting events with a slightly lower profile.
The distillery is situated in a scenically pleasing area of the island with Machir and Saligo Bays close at hand. It also overlooks Loch Gorm, the island’s largest stretch of fresh water.
Kilchoman Farm Distillery.