Kilchoman, (pronounced kilhoman) established in 2005, is a farm distillery and the first to be built on Islay for 124 years. Kilchoman is the most westerly distillery in Scotland. Kilchoman gives everyone the opportunity to see all that is best in the grass-roots traditions of malt whisky distilling – from barley to bottle. Kilchoman is one of the smallest distilleries in Scotland with an annual production of 100,000 litres of alcohol. Kilchoman is one of only six distilleries to carry out traditional floor maltings, but the key difference at Kilchoman is that the barley is grown on the farm at the distillery, whereas other distilleries purchase barley from around the country. 100 tonnes of malting barley is grown and malted at the distillery. This represents 30% of their annual production. The balance of malt is purchased from the Port Ellen Maltings on the island. The two malts are kept separate through the production process and when mature they will release two expressions of Kilchoman Single Malt. 80% of Kilchoman’s annual production is filled into a combination of fresh bourbon barrels from Buffalo Trace Distillery, Kentucky and refill casks and 20% into fresh oloroso sherry butts.
Sanaig is a blend of Bourbon and Oloroso sherry casks with a predominant sherry influence. It takes its name from a breathtaking neighbouring cove which boasts the most remote art gallery in Europe. The bouquet is sweet and fruity with tropical fruit notes (candied pineapple, a touch of lime). The smoke slowly comes through with a briny whiff. The palate is oily, smooth at first, releasing lemon curd notes then dries on a sooty and dusty kick. The peaty character is challenged by fruit at first but creeps through on time. A charming dram.