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Land Rover Classic partners with Kilchoman Distillery

Land Rover Classic is partnering with Kilchoman Distillery, an award-winning whisky distillery based on Islay, Scotland, to mark the launch of its latest luxury collectible, the Classic Defender Works V8 Islay Edition.

To celebrate the partnership, the Kilchoman Distillery is releasing a new limited edition whisky of just 639 bottles.

The Works V8 Islay Edition, limited to just 30 vehicles, is inspired by a Series IIa owned and used by Land Rover co-founder Spencer Wilks, and features a number of unique references to the original vehicle, as well as nods to the Isle of Islay in the Scottish Inner Hebrides. They include a crafted individual removable tray in the bespoke central stowage cubby, made from original whisky casks from the Kilchoman Distillery.

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, so every vehicle is one of a kind. The tray that surrounds the disc is finished in American Walnut veneer to complement the whisky cask oak. The hand-crafted surround showcases the distillery in the same stencilled font and features official 75th anniversary branding. The base of each cup holder is also made from Kilchoman whisky cask wood.

Kilchoman Distillery has a longstanding family connection with Land Rover. Spencer Wilks, Managing Director of The Rover Group and one of the founders of Land Rover, is the grandfather of the distillery’s co-creator, Kathy Wills.

For the limited ‘639’ whisky, Kathy Wills and her husband Anthony personally selected the casks to be used, which are a combination of bourbon barrels and sherry casks. The result is a whisky with an abundance of rich flavours and complexity, reflecting the depth of Land Rover’s connection to Islay. The whisky is a limited edition of just 639 bottles; these digits were part of the registration of Spencer Wilks’ original Series IIa, a vehicle in the Land Rover Classic Collection.

It was 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, Spencer Wilks 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 prototype paved the way for the launch of the Land Rover Series I.

Paul Barritt, Director of Land Rover Classic, said: “We are delighted to announce this unique partnership with the Kilchoman Distillery. To be working with the family of Spencer Wilks and have their creative input into the Classic Defender Works V8 Islay Edition is very special for us. The team at Kilchoman helped Land Rover Classic create a beautiful handcrafted Defender using genuine cask wood that celebrates the island where the Land Rover name was born. The specialists at Kilchoman lavish the same attention and passion to their award winning whiskies as Land Rover Classic does to its luxury collectible vehicles. With the launch of the ‘639’, we have created desirable limited editions that will appeal to connoisseurs and enthusiasts of both cars and whisky alike.”

Kathy Wills, co-founder of Kilchoman, 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.”

The Islay Edition will be limited to 30 examples, all Station Wagons, with 17 available as a 90 short wheelbase and 13 available as a seven-seat long wheelbase 110 version.

The Classic Defender Works V8 Islay Edition is priced from £230,000 for the 90, and £245,000 for the 110.

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