fbpx Menu

Batch Strength Tour Update 2: Austria – Sweden

May 8, 2024

The Batch Strength tour continues, and we’ve now hosted events in 12 out of the 20 countries we will be visiting over the 10 weeks!   Stage 2 took us through Austria, Slovakia, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland and Sweden, let me catch you up on the adventure so far…

Peter and I were on the road for the final two days in Austria.  After a long but scenic drive through what felt like every season, from warm sun to pouring rain and even some snow, we finally arrived in Götzis for a busy afternoon tasting event before driving back to Innsbruck for a delicious dinner and whisky-filled evening.

Vienna welcomed us the next day with sunny skies (30+ degrees!).  It was lovely to be back in the beautiful city, although it is not the easiest to drive in, so I named Peter as designated driver for this part!  The final Austrian tasting at the soon-to-be Pot Still shop has left us and everyone who came along to the tasting eager to see the finished look.

Next up: Slovakia. A short jaunt from Vienna landed us in Bratislava’s Old Town for a leisurely lunch and some Batch Strength photography.  During the afternoon, we had lots of people pop by the Svet Napojov shop to say hello and taste the new Batch Strength release followed by a fun evening back in The Izzi Pub.  It was great to meet so many new people who were tasting Kilchoman for the first time, especially when their feedback was so positive!

Then it was off to Poland – Katowice, Kraków, Starachowice, Warsaw, and Bialystok—a busy 4 days!  A special mention has to go to Starachowice with over 80 people joining us on a Sunday afternoon to taste through the Kilchoman range.  It was a fun afternoon and we felt like celebs with all the bottle signings and photos!

Dare we say it yet, the pickup has been doing very well despite all the kilometres we’re making it do day after day.  We had a small hiccup in Bialystok when we noticed a tyre was worn and needed changed, this led to some interesting conversations at a local garage with neither James or I being able to speak any Polish (thank you, Google Translate), but we made it through, 4 new tyres fitted and on we went.  The next stop was Lithuania, the first time we’ve brought Kilchoman to the Baltics region.

Despite a small delay due to the tyre change, our first Kilchoman event at the ‘King & Mouse Whisky Bar’ in Vilnius went very well.  Over the next two days we visited Latvia and Estonia.  It was a great opportunity to introduce Kilchoman to many and we enjoyed sharing stories of the distillery and Islay over a few drams.

Helsinki was up next so a quick ferry crossing from Tallinn meant a day off from lots of driving.  No longer were we enjoying the 30+ degree heat that we’d had in Austria and Slovakia, the temperature had quite drastically been getting lower and we finally found ourselves in Helsinki chittering with lows of -3°C but a wind chill that made it feel more like -10°C!  We even had some snow for the drive to Turku.  The three Sunday afternoon Masterclasses kept spirits high on the brisk Sunday afternoon.  I think the whiskies were helping to keep everyone warm!

Time for another ferry, this time for 11.5 hours!  Although it doesn’t look like a huge distance on the map, it was a long crossing from Turku to Stockholm.  On the plus side, the boat was slightly bigger than what we are used to when crossing between Islay and Kennacraig.  At 9 levels high and various restaurants, shops and on-board entertainment the crossing passed quite quickly.

James flew back from Turku and I met up with George in Stockholm.  He was already at the Ardbeg Embassy in Stockholm leading a packed-out room through the line-up when I joined.

Sweden continued with another sold-out Masterclass in Bredaryd’s Wärdshus before we drove to Malmö where I passed the keys back to Emma.  Emma and George will now complete the last two days in Sweden before driving north to Norway.

So for me, after 14 days on the road through 8 countries, it’s time to head back to Islay for a couple of weeks before joining the tour again in Belgium next month.  Stay tuned for more updates as we journey through the next 8 countries!


Click here to find out where we are yet to visit.



Sauternes Cask Matured 2024 has arrived!

The Sauternes Cask Matured has now arrived! The Sauternes Cask Matured limited edition has spent its full maturation in ex-sauternes wine casks. Anthony Wills, Kilchoman Founder, selected a combination of fresh and refill Sauternes barriques from two separate years, the youngest being from 2018, creating an extraordinary balance of buttery…

May 20, 2024