Kilchoman distillery on Islay launched their new 100% Islay expression on the 16th June. I already recevied a hint about this when I visited the distillery in May 2010.
Needless to say that producing a fully locally sourced whisky it is a very noble effort and I am looking forward to try it. But the pricing of the cask strength version that is sold only at the distillery gave me shock, to be honest. There will be 1060 bottles at a price of £149.
This is not even a single cask bottling, and it is just three years old. For the same price you can find single cask Port Ellen bottles that are almost ten times as old and certainly not of a lesser quality than the Kilchoman 100% Islay 3 yo.
With all due respect for the need of generating revenue in the early phase of a distillery. But no matter how fancy the hand crafted American oak box is this whisky comes in, such a price is a slap into the faces of all who have a genuine interest in enjoying this exciting release at cask strength.
I have stated on several occasions that I don’t have a problem with luxury bottlings as long as distilleries also have cheaply priced entry level bottlings. But although prices for the general Kilchoman releases have come down a bit, £40 for such a young whisky still is not exactly cheap. The £69 asked for the standard 100% Islay release may be just about acceptable in regard of the higher manufacturing costs and the special story behind this whisky. But the pricing of the cask strength bottling can only be seen as an attempt to milk the cash cows.