The launch of Kilchoman's '639' whisky coincides with the unveiling of a special-edition Land Rover Defender, the Classic Defender Works V8 Islay Edition, to mark the car maker's 75th anniversary.
Kilchoman has a family connection to Land Rover; the distillery's co-founder, Kathy Wills, is the granddaughter of Rover Group managing director and Land Rover co-creator Spencer Wilks. It was on Wilks' Laggan Estate on the isle of Islay, where Kathy and her husband Anthony now live, that the original Land Rover was born.
The Classic Defender Works V8 Islay Edition features contrasting colours in its paintwork that were inspired by a Series Ila Land Rover owned and used by Wilks. The 30 limited-edition vehicles also include a small piece of Kilchoman within them: oak from the distillery's casks has been used in decorative wooden discs in the trays of the central stowage space, and in the base of each cup holder.
Taking its name from numbers in the registration plate of Wilks' original Series Ila Land Rover, the '639' whisky comprises spirit from ex-bourbon and Pedro Ximénez casks that were selected by Kathy and Anothony Wills. It has been bottled at cask strength of 51.3% ABV. Just 639 bottles will be released and are available through The Whisky Exchange priced at £80 per bottle.
Kathy Wills said: "It has been very special for the teams at Kilchoman and Land Rover Classic to work together on these projects considering our long-standing family connection. It was a great moment when the team at Land Rover Classic brought my grandfather’s Series IIa back to Islay, and to the distillery, and I’m delighted to see the design details it has informed on their latest Classic Defender."