Lindores Abbey Distillery

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The Distillery at Lindores Abbey
Distillery history

The Spiritual Home of Scotch Whisky

Distilling was taking place on this site at least as early as 1494, although it was most probably happening long before that.

We know this because of the earliest written reference to Scotch Whisky (or Aqua Vitae, as it was then known), which appears in the Exchequer Roll of the same year. It mentioned a Brother John Cor, a Lindores monk, who was commissioned by King James IV to turn 8 bolls of malt into Aqua Vitae.

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.

In 2017, spirit started flowing once again from copper stills at Lindores Abbey Distillery.

Learning as much as we can from the great Scottish distillers around us, past and present, and from others much further afield, we are looking forward to bringing a very modern whisky-making approach to this ancient site.

 

Our Story

Whisky Making

The water for our whisky comes from a borehole near the distillery, in order that we can draw from the same supply used in 1494.  The barley is grown in Fife, malted and then mashed in a conventional, semi-lauter tun supplied by renowned distillery fabricators, Forsyths of Rothes.

Fermentation is happening in traditional wooden washbacks, supplied by Joseph Brown of Dufftown.

We have three Forsyths copper pot stills, one large wash still and two smaller spirit stills, which allows greater copper contact in the final distillation, creating a clean and delicate flavour in the spirit.

Distillery
Whisky Cask enquiries

Maturation

We have sourced an unusual range of casks to contribute to the rich, complex and smooth whisky we hope to produce, including:

 
Firkin Ex R Wine Charred
Ex R Wine Charred
Sherry Firkin
Ex Bourbon Firkin
Sherry
Bourbon Quarter Cask
Refill Quarter Cask
Peated Refill Quarter Cask
Old Forrester ASB
Peated Refill ASB
STR (Wine Barrique)
Bourbon Hogshead
Refill Sherry Hogshead
2nd Refill Sherry Hogshead
Refill Whisky Butt
Refill Whisky Puncheon
Oloroso Sherry Butt
Port Pipe

Sustainability

Caring for the environment is very important to us, which is why we are going so far in our plans to reinstate the ancient gardens and orchards around the distillery.

We aim to have our Single Malt Scotch Whisky made with the finest locally grown Fife barley, influenced by the yearly farming cycles and natural rhythms of the land.

Local barley
Private whisky casks

Cask Ownership

After a break of over 523 years, we began filling whisky casks in December 2017. In 2018 we started the year with 6,000 bulk litres to cask and this was all reserved within 1 month.

In 2019 we are delighted to now offer individuals or groups the chance to purchase a whisky cask from our second full year of production filled with Lindores spirit, so get in touch if you would like to find out more and reserve your 2019 cask.

Private Cask Owners will truly become a part of the history of Lindores Abbey, and the history of Scotch Whisky,  as together we watch the spirit mature into Single Malt Whisky. Ultimately, owners of Private Casks will have their own unique bottling of Lindores Abbey Distillery Single Malt Whisky, which can be personalised with your name, company logo, family crest etc.

FIND OUT MORE

Australian Wine Barrels

We are now working with Scott and Nick from Nebb Whisky Barrels, to import Australian Wine Casks back into Scotland and are using them for the maturation and finishing of our Single Malt Whisky.

To our knowledge these are the first Australian Wine Barrels to ever be brought into Scotland and we are very excited to see what they can deliver! We have 110 red wine hogsheads and barriques onsite, which contained some of the best red wine Australia has to offer, including Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon from the Adelaide Hills and Coonowarra.

These barrels come from vineyards such as Brand’s Laira, Roy Kidman Wine Co., Wood Block Wines, and Nova Vita Wines.

Australian Wine Barrels
Lindores Abbey Aqua Vitae

While we wait for our Whisky

Aqua Vitae

Aqua Vitae, the first release from Lindores Abbey, is a handcrafted botanical spirit, made on site using spices, dried fruit and locally grown green herbs such as Douglas fir and sweet cicely.

With citrus notes and full of sweet and spiced flavours, Aqua Vitae is delicious as a mixed drink or a cocktail base.

The earliest Aqua Vitae was made at Lindores as long ago as 1494, and we’ve authentically recreated that recipe and reimagined it as an inquisitively versatile spirit. Today, our Aqua Vitae is distilled in pot stills and then infused with a blend of spices and herbs, including cleavers, and sweet cicely, which grow in our gardens, amidst the grounds of the ancient Abbey. It is entirely natural, with no added sugars.

We recommend drinking Aqua Vitae in a Highball glass filled with ice, pour over 50ml of Aqua Vitae topped with Ginger Ale, and garnish with a twist of Orange.

Another way to enjoy Aqua Vitae is to simply pour over ice with a twist of orange.

BUY AQUA VITAE NOW

New Make Spirit

We are delighted to announce that you can now buy a Limited Edition bottle of our very first release of New Make Spirit for just £20 plus postage. There are only a very limited number of bottles available in this Limited Edition run of New Make Spirit, and this is an opportunity for you to start your very own collection of Lindores Special Editions.

The New Make that has been filling our casks for the last year is at the point where we now feel it has a consistency of character and meets the expectation of a spirit coming from Lindores Abbey.

It has been hard and it has been challenging but we decided to work with the distillery to give us a character delivered with grace. Not only are we happy with the spirit but the early maturing spirit in cask shows great signs of promise.

Let the journey begin.

Drew McKenzie Smith
Custodian and Managing Director of Lindores Abbey

WHAT DID WE DO TO GET TO THIS FINAL PLACE?

We increased our fermentations to 114 hours to bring out that added tropical fruitiness. We stopped the wash still at first sign of frothing, let it rest and then slowly brought the heat back into the still. We ran the spirit during the cut on the spirit stills very, very slowly, and we also cut in high at 75-76% and came down to 66%. Interestingly at around 68-69% on the cut, the spirit has an amazing caramel and butterscotch nose with others picking up peaches and strawberries. The final spirit is robust, complex, and interesting and that’s exactly what we hoped it would be – Gary Haggart, Distillery Manager

Buy New Make
Lindores New Make Spirit
Lindores Abbey Distillery

Distillery Tours

You can come and take a tour of our Distillery and find out what goes into producing whisky.

Once you’ve learned the ins and outs of distilling, you’ll be able to try two delicious drams for yourself. With the help of our expert guides you will experience all stages of the whisky making process from mashing and fermenting to distilling and maturation. Learn about how after a  break of 523 years, we are once again bringing whisky production back to the spiritual home of scotch whisky.

Tours are available at 10:30am, 12:00pm and 2:00pm, and we are open 7 days a week from 10am – 4pm.

Distillery Tours

Summer Maintenance

In common with every Scotch whisky distillery, we cease to produce whisky for a certain periods each year to allow for essential maintenance and improvement works to our production facilities. In 2019 the distillery will not be operational  from 21st-27th May and then Friday 12th July to Sunday 21st July.

Although the distillery is not operational during this time, this is when our 5-star visitor experience really comes into its own. Our beautiful visitor centre with its Cloister exhibition, our Abbey ruins and our atmospheric warehouse are unaffected by the production downtime, ensuring a fascinating visit whatever the time of year. Our Tours are also reduced to £10 during this period.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

  • Access to the distillery production area may be restricted, and on some days will not be available, so it may be best to check in advance before booking.
Stillroom

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