Kilchoman doubles whisky production

Islay whisky distillery Kilchoman has doubled its production capacity as part of expansion plans that include the build of a new visitor centre.

The independent whisky producer has doubled its capacity to 480,000 litres of pure alcohol annually.

Kilchoman said it is nearing completion of its stillhouse extension, which consists of two new stills, a new mashtun and six additional washbacks.

It is part of an expansion that started in 2018 with the completion of a new malt floor and kiln.

Anthony Wills, founder and managing director of Kilchoman, said that the final phase of the expansion, which will include a visitor centre, shop and café, is expected to be completed “within the next three to four months”.

He said: “At a time when I thought I might take a step back we’ve invested around £6 million [US$7.3m] in upgrades. That said, without an increase in capacity we would be heading towards a situation where all Kilchoman would be sold purely on allocation.

“With my three sons heavily involved in the business we want to continue building on the success of the last 15 years without the risk of running out of whisky.

“The investment amounts to almost an entirely new distillery in itself however we wanted to ensure that the new equipment was a mirror image of the original stillhouse and we’ve been delighted with the quality of the spirit, with no discernible difference in the character of that produced from the new compared to old stills.

“The new equipment will also allow us to experiment more during the malting and peat phases as well as in the stillhouse with yeast varieties and isolating specific spirit runs.”

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