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Kilchoman:
From Barley to Bottle

How do you tell the world’s most incredible whisky story?
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The Brief

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As a small independent whisky distiller, Kilchoman needed a brand film that would encapsulate the essence of their company and visualise their whisky making process for connoisseurs and businesses alike. The film needed to capture who they are, what they stand for and their history.

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Kilchoman Distillery has a unique story to tell. Not only has it managed to muscle its way into this already dense and prestigious nucleus of whisky distillation, but it brings something new to the table, in the form of something old. We are presented with a doubly exciting cinematic opportunity; by conveying the passion and craftsmanship of Kilchoman’s processes and people, we will be telling the story of whisky as it should be told.

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Our Approach

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We knew this film had to be a cinematic brand piece that captured the very essence of the Kilchoman distillery and the people whose passion colour it’s whisky. Our film would call upon a narrative sentiment and visual style that does justice to their story. Speaking to both current drinkers of Kilchoman and prospective whisky connoisseurs, it would highlight the ingredients, the tradition and the beauty that flavour every glass they pour. The film needed to explore the physicality and poetry of the Kilchoman fabric, taking the viewer on a sensory voyage from ‘Barley to Bottle’.

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We wanted the visual language of this film to serve the natural beauty of the landscape and the Kilchoman approach. The journey from ‘Barley to Bottle’ is one of textures, flavours and smells; where raw materials, once created by nature, are being sculpted by man’s hand.

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By using extreme wide shots, we were able to do justice to Islay’s rugged beauty, painting the picture of Kilchoman’s homeland and evoking the energy of Scottish coastal weather. Our use of more macro shots expressed the nuance involved within the distillery environment: grains falling through fingers, shovels turning malt and a glass being brought to the taster’s lips.

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We used Woolmark’s ‘Lost and Found’ film as a reference; taking particular inspiration from their heightened depiction of man harnessing the goodness of nature, resulting in the creation of well-loved products. The pace and energy of this film were also a great reference.

We wanted our cameras movement to express a poetic sensibility, seeking out moments of beauty that would be woven together in the edit with a pace and tone that felt in keeping with the energy of the distillery.

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Our film was vital to Kilchoman’s significant growth, with sales increasing in 2017 by 10%, as well as expanding their market presence in Asia and North America.

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