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.

Cask enquiries


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 Octave/Firkin
Ex Bourbon Firkin
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


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.

Our Single Malt Scotch Whisky will be made with the finest locally grown Fife barley, influenced by the yearly farming cycles and natural rhythms of the land.

Local barley
Whisky Casks

Cask Ownership

After a break of over 523 years, we began filling our various casks in December 2017.

We were delighted to offer individuals the chance to purchase a whisky cask from our first full year of production filled with Lindores spirit, with the offer strictly limited to 4% of annual spirit production. In 2018 we started the year with 6,000 bulk litres to cask and this was all reserved within 1 month.

We are now taking enquiries for 2019 and 2020, so get in touch if you would like to register your interest in owning a piece of scotch whisky history.


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
Aqua Vitae

While we wait for our Whisky

Aqua Vitae

Our first bottled release of Aqua Vitae  is a tribute to the origins of Scotch as we know it today. The earliest ‘aqua vitae’ that was made at Lindores Abbey as long ago as 1494.  Thought to have helped to ‘sloeth age’ and ‘abandoneth melancholy’, it was a powerful tonic that was drunk by kings and commoners alike.

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.


New Make Spirit

The New Make that has been filling our casks for the last year is at the point where we 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, Managing Director of Lindores Abbey

We have now been through four seasons of distillation at Lindores and have worked with the distillery to define our spirit. We had a direction, but the distillery decided to offer us up a new intriguing spirit instead. We went from nutty, to cereal, to malty, to pears, to fruity and to finally a spirit which combines all of these and more. There is also a sweetness and a spiciness with an incredible mouth feel.


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.

Distillery Tours

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