Lindores Abbey Distillery

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In the 13th century one Theoricus wrote a proper treatise  in praise of the wonders of the spirit:

‘…it sloeth age, strengtheneth youth, it helpeth digestion, it cutteth fleume,  it abandoneth melancholy, it relisheth the hart, it lighteneth the mynd, it quickeneth the spirites, it cureth the hydropsie, it healeth the strangury, it pounceth the stone, it expelleth gravell, it puffeth away all ventositie, it kepeth & preserveth the hed from whirlyng, the eyes from dazelyng, the tongue from lispyng, the mouth from mafflyng, the teeth from chatteryng, the throte from rattling, the weasan from stieflyng, the stomacke from wambling, the belly from wirtchyng, the guts from rumbling, the hands from shivering, the sinowe from shrinking, the veynes from crumpling, the bones from akyng, the marrow from soaking.’

High praise indeed!  Easy to see why we decided to recreate this remarkable spirit.

A New Era

Today, our Aqua Vitae is distilled in pot stills and then infused with a blend of spices and herbs, including cleavers, lemon verbena, douglas fir and sweet cicely, which all grow in our gardens, amidst the grounds of the ancient Abbey.

Entirely natural, with no added sugars.

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Tasting Note

Initial light top notes of peach and pear, give way to masses of ginger, clove and cinnamon spice. Rich, caramel sweetness and some lovely light herbal notes on the finish. Complex and rewarding.

Enjoy Aqua Vitae simply over ice with a twist of orange, or in a longer drink with plenty of fresh mint and a small amount of sugar syrup, topped with soda water.

Subscribe at the bottom of this page to get more recipe ideas in our regular newsletter.

Old recipe

It was Aqua Vitae that Brother John Cor and the monks were making for King James IV in 1494 here at Lindores Abbey.  It would have been a powerful clear spirit, made using water from the ‘Holy Burn’ and barley from the surrounding fields.

The strong spirit would have been infused with plants and herbs that grew wild in the grounds of the Abbey, as well as other plants especially cultivated by the monks.   More exotic herbs and spices brought back from Flanders, where the monks, or their agents, traded salmon and wool with the merchants of Europe, would also have been used.

The original Aqua Vitae would have been a fiery spirit, used as much as a medicine or tincture, as a libation.

By becoming a member of our Preservation Society, you’ll receive a bottle of Aqua Vitae from our first batch.

Preservation Society members will also have early access to all of our future bottlings and distillery news, plus invites to our annual Preservation Society ‘Bear Burning’ gathering and tickets to the distillery and visitor centre.

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