On the eve of World Whisky Day, our founder, Drew McKenzie Smith, found time to visit the National Records of Scotland for a private viewing of the first written evidence of the production of whisky in Scotland.
The Exchequer Roll, or tax record, from 1494 names Friar John Cor, a Lindores monk who was commissioned by King James IV to turn 8 bolls of malt into Aqua Vitae.
The excerpt from the Exchequer Roll of 1494 reads:
“Et per liberacionem factam fratri Johanni Cor per preceptum compotorum rotulatoris, ut asserit, de mandato domini regis ad faciendum aquavite infra hoc compotum, viii bolle brasii.”
Which roughly translates to:
“To Friar John Cor, 8 bolls of malt, wherewith to make aqua vitae for the King.”
8 Bolls of malt amounts to around 500kg in modern terms and would have been enough to make about 400 bottles of today’s whisky.
Commenting on his recent visit, Drew said:
“As we commence the revival of spirit flow at the birthplace of Scotch whisky, it felt fitting to pay a personal pilgrimage to the record which our historical landmark is founded upon.
“World Whisky Day is a global celebration of our national spirit, and I will certainly be raising a dram in its honour amidst the Abbey grounds. I look forward to welcoming the world to Lindores Abbey Distillery later this year, and encourage enthusiasts to explore our Preservation Society memberships as an opportunity to support the revival of so many ancient crafts and traditions, as we return Scotch Whisky’s oldest landmark to its former glory.”