Lindores Abbey Distillery

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The Apothecary

Long before pharmacies and doctors, we relied upon an Apothecary. These learned individuals studied the health giving benefits of herbs and spices and more often than not studied the arts of distillation. Should you have taken ill 500 years ago, you’d seek out the Apothecary at the local monastery who would prescribe a tincture made of herb, spice or fruit to cure your ailments.

Today you can sit in a modern recreation of an Apothecary here at Lindores and skillfully blend a range of curious tinctures to create your very own, unique Aqua Vitae. Similar to blending whisky or creating a gin, our Apothecary Experiences are one of a kind workshops, that take you right back to the ancient arts of distillation.

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The Apothecary
Apothecary

Aqua Vitae

In 1494 Friar John Cor was commissioned by King James IV to make 8 bolls of malt into Aqua Vitae. Back then the monks at Lindores Abbey weren’t making whisky as we know it today. There was no legislation about maturing it in oak casks for a certain number of years, nor was there any rules restricting the use of flavourings.

Instead, 500 years ago the monks were making Aqua Vitae, commonly understood to be a medicinal drink, which would have been flavoured with herbs, spices and fruit grown in the grounds of the Abbey. Over time, the recipe evolved into what we now know as whisky.

At Lindores Abbey we have studied the type of materials they had to hand and the processes they would have used and we’ve come up with a modern version of their delicious Aqua Vitae drink. Now we can give you the opportunity to make your own unique Aqua Vitae spirit.

Your Apothecary Experience

The Apothecary Experiences offer you a fantastic chance to get ‘hands on’ in making your own delicious version of Aqua Vitae, using herbs, spices and spirit tinctures such as cleavers, lemon verbena, douglas fir and sweet cicely, all of which grow in our gardens, amidst the grounds of the ancient Abbey. You will choose which flavours you like and will use them to make your very own Aqua Vitae Spirit – all under the watchful eye of our Apothecary.

Combining the history of distilling with the science of how to produce malt spirits, you will be taken all the way through the spirit blending process.

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Apothecary
Apothecary Experiences at Lindores Abbey Distillery

Make your own Aqua Vitae

After smelling and tasting the individual botanicals and essences available, you will start to make your very own Aqua Vitae. You all start with the same new make spirit base, but from there, you choose which tinctures to add, and in which quantities. This means that the spirit you end up with will be completely unique and to your very individual taste.

During the process you’ll be able to keep notes on the different ingredients, and what you thought of various combinations, before you create your final spirit.

Once your spirit is bottled, you need to come up with a name for you creation, and we will then label and date your Spirit, as well as note in down for posterity in our leather bound Distillery recipe book. You can then take your spirit home and let all your friends and family sample it!

How to book

These sessions last two and a half hours and also include a Distillery Tour, as well as a 20cl bottle of your own hand-labelled Aqua Vitae to take away and enjoy at home.

Each session costs £75 per person, and spaces are limited to 8 people maximum, but are arranged by appointment at a time that suits you.

If you want to arrange a session for a group, please do get in touch. Whether it’s a family and friends get together, a hen or stag party, or as part of a golfing or shooting weekend, let us make your event just that little bit more unique!

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Apothecary Experiences at Lindores Abbey Distillery
The Legacy Bar at Lindores Abbey Distillery

Make a day of it

Why not finish off your Apothecary Experience with a visit to our Legacy Bar where you can enjoy an array of Aqua Vitae cocktails and drams, or if you are hungry, sample some of our pre-booked Cheese & Meat Platters or an Afternoon Tea.

The Legacy Bar

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