2 May 2023


  • New Classic Defender Works V8 Islay Edition is a luxury limited edition of just 30 vehicles, inspired by the Hebridean island of Islay and incorporates materials from the award winning Kilchoman Distillery
  • To celebrate the partnership, the Kilchoman Distillery is releasing a new limited edition whisky of just 639 bottles
  • The Islay Edition’s bespoke centre cubby features a unique crafted removable wooden tray, incorporating oak from Kilchoman Distillery’s whisky casks
  • The Kilchoman Distillery has a longstanding connection with Land Rover, and was co-created by the granddaughter of Land Rover co-founder Spencer Wilks – Kathy Wills
  • Customer enquiries for Land Rover Classic should be made via:, or +44 (0) 2476 566 600, or
  • Bottles are available to purchase through The Whisky Exchange

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. 

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.

Paul Barritt
Director - Jaguar Land Rover Classic

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.

Kathy Wills
Co-founder of Kilchoman

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.  


Notes to Editors

Notes to Editors 

About Land Rover Classic: 


Land Rover Classic is the official source of authentic cars, expert services, genuine parts and unforgettable experiences for classic Land Rover enthusiasts worldwide. Our team of highly-skilled engineers at the JLR Classic Works facility in Coventry specialises in outstanding restorations and building the Defender Works V8. 


All enquiries from prospective Land Rover Classic customers should be directed to: / +44 (0) 2476 566 600 / 


For more information on the full range of cars, services, parts and experiences offered by Land Rover Classic, visit: 


For more information about Land Rover Classic Parts, including performance upgrades for the classic Defender, visit 


For further Land Rover Classic media information, visit 

Media website:  


About Kilchoman Distillery: 


Kilchoman is an award winning, family run farm distillery based on Islay, Scotland – the only place that crafts Islay whisky from barley to bottle all on one farm. Established in 2005 by Anthony and Kathy Wills with the aim of building a distillery which took whisky production back to its roots. The distillery was created out of derelict farm buildings and at the time was the first new distillery to be built on Islay in over 124 years.  Today, Kilchoman Distillery is very much a family business; Anthony Wills works alongside his wife Kathy and their three sons – Peter, George and James – with a continued commitment to reviving the lost traditions of farm distilling. Their award winning 100% Islay range is uniquely made entirely from barley grown, malted, distilled, matured and bottled on site.   


Located on a 2,300 acre farm on the rugged west coast of Islay, the parish of Kilchoman is home to some of Islay’s most fertile ground and it is here, in the fields surrounding the distillery where they grow an average of 250 tonnes of barley each year. The barley is sown in spring and harvested in September, which also marks the start of the whisky-making process seeing the barley malted, distilled, matured and bottled at the distillery, to eventually become Islay’s only Single Farm Single Malt Scotch Whisky. 


The farm also encompasses a variety of landscapes including the craggy hill ground to the south which is grazed by their flock of blackface sheep and the machair grasses to the west where you will find their herd of Aberdeen Angus cattle, fed on the barley husks (draff) discarded during the whisky-making process. 


The current range of whiskys are non chill filtered and natural in colour, they include: 100% Islay, Sanaig, Machir Bay and the latest limited edition Loch Gorm 2023 which is matured for a minimum of 8 years. Kilchoman is stocked nationwide in all good wine and spirits merchants.  


For further information, visit 

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