From the oldest distillery on Islay to the youngest; Kilchoman was founded in 2005, and on our first visit barely a year later they obviously didn’t have any whisky for us – they did however have an excellent little cafe with some tasty cake instead.
Fast forward a few years and the cafe (and cake!) was still there, but I was happy to find that it’s now second fiddle to some truly excellent whisky. As a young and small distillery, with just two tiny stills, we half expected the open day to be a low key affair, but despite the small space there was lots going on.
In keeping with the whisky and music theme of Feis Ile, there were a variety of bands and even a traditional pipe band to entertain, and the entire range of their whiskies were available from their bar. In addition, a couple of different tasting experiences were on offer, as well as the usual tours.
Despite – or perhaps because of – feeling slightly amateur and disorganised at times, it was another day that exposed the soul of the place; warm, welcoming and relaxed.
Unlike most of the other distilleries, there were no free drams to be had, but the bar was reasonably priced and after all, we were really there to enjoy the experience and explore their products, not to look for a free drink!
Not a full-on party like Bruichladdich, but different and magical nonetheless – not unlike the whisky itself.