Kilchoman partners with Land Rover Classic to create a limited edition whisky of just 639 bottles.
The ‘639’ whisky launch coincides with the unveiling of a low volume, hand built, special edition Classic Defender Works V8 Islay Edition, inspired by the Hebridean island and celebrating the 75th anniversary of Land Rover.
Kilchoman Distillery has a longstanding family connection with Land Rover; Spencer Wilks who was managing director of The Rover Group and one of the founders of Land Rover is the grandfather of the distillery’s co-founder, Kathy Wills.
It was in fact on Wilks’ Laggan Estate, (where Kathy and her husband still live) on the Isle of Islay that the original Land Rover came into being. In 1947 he was seen driving a heavily modified Rover prototype around the island by the local gamekeeper who remarked ‘that must be a Land-Rover sir’. The name stuck and that development culminated in the launch of the Land Rover Series I.
This connection to the Wills’ family, the Kilchoman Distillery, and the character of Islay inspired the team at Land Rover Classic in their creation of the Classic Defender Works V8 Islay Edition. For example, the vehicle’s Heritage Grey paint, and contrasting roof and wheels in Limestone, are informed by a Series IIa Land Rover owned and used by Spencer Wilks, that now forms part of the Land Rover Classic collection.
In creating the Classic Defender Works V8 Islay Edition, the experts at Land Rover Classic have worked closely with Kilchoman, Islay’s only farm-to-bottle distillery, to design some bespoke interior details for each of the thirty limited edition vehicles. Land Rover Classic have incorporated the oak of the distillery’s whisky casks within the trays of the central stowage space, a stunning bespoke detail that strengthens the link back to Islay.
Each tray features a unique 110mm wooden disc replicating the end of a whisky cask and is made from a specific piece of the wood that displays the authentic stencilled lettering of the distillery, meaning each of these limited editions is one of a kind. The base of each cup holder is also made from Kilchoman whisky cask wood.
To celebrate the family’s historic connection to Land Rover and the launch of the Classic Defender Works V8 Islay Edition, Kilchoman Distillery will release a new limited edition whisky of just 639 bottles; these digits were part of the registration of Spencer Wilks’ original Series IIa which inspired this collectible Classic Defender.
Kathy and Anthony Wills personally selected the casks for this release, a combination of ex bourbon barrels and Pedro Ximenez sherry casks, bottled at their natural cask strength (51.3%). The result is a whisky with an abundance of rich flavours and complexity – fresh fruits, milk chocolate and light maritime peatsmoke are balanced with added layers of caramel, raisins and toasted oak.
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