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5 Minutes with Drew McKenzie Smith


To celebrate Father’s Day 2018, we grabbed 5 minutes with Drew, the MD and Custodian of Lindores Abbey Distillery, and more importantly the Father of Poppy and Gee.



Aqua Vitae - unique father's day gift

1. What present would you most like to receive for father’s day 2018?

For Father’s Day 2018 I’ve hinted at a new Range Rover and a Labrador puppy but I’m not sure I’ll receive either. I’ll be sensible and lower my expectations a little and aim for a decent bottle of something delicious, Aqua Vitae might be just the ticket!

For other Father’s Day 2018 gift ideas click HERE


2. What is your fondest memory as a Father?

I think simply the moment that I actually became a father to Poppy and then to Gee a few years later. That, and then naming two beautiful copper whisky stills after them about 20 years later!

Distillery Tours


3. What link does your own father have to the distillery?

Whilst the Lindores Abbey farm came down my Mother’s side of the family, it was my father who kept it in the family for a great many years. We are at 104 years and counting!


Father's Day


4. What advice would you give to anyone celebrating their first father’s day?

Simply put: Enjoy it while you can, as kids grow up so fast these days!






5. What is the best piece of advice that your father or grandfather gave you?

My grandfather gave me a great bit of very Scottish advice; ‘Make every pound a prisoner,’ and my Father’s words of wisdom were ‘No MacTavish was ever lavish.’ I’m spotting a rather stereotypical theme there! Another piece that I’ve always remembered is ‘What’s for you will nae gang by you.’ It means that if something is right for you, it will all work out in the end. I followed this advice when planning, researching and building the distillery, and look where we are now!


6. How would you like to celebrate Father’s Day this year?

Whilst it is an honour and a privilege to be the custodian of Lindores Abbey and owner of a distillery, to be honest I wouldn’t mind being next to the pool in Garde le Freinet, a beautiful village in France where Helen and I spent our honeymoon many years ago. However, I am sure I will thoroughly enjoy the Father’s Day events we have planned for the Distillery – a Thai BBQ and drinks in the courtyard followed and preceded by Distillery and Apothecary Tours.

Father's Day


7. How important is it to you that Lindores remains a family business?

I see Lindores absolutely as a family business, as do my investors. My wife, two daughters, brother and sister all help out with the running of the distillery, and we are all in it for the long term. As a result, we like working with companies that hold similar family values.


8. What is your favourite family joke or trait?

Our family has quite an off-the-wall sense of humour and sometimes ‘outsiders’ are left a little bit lost in translation! That said, we do all share a love for Fawlty Towers!

2 responses to “Father’s Day 2018 Interview

  1. I really appreciated your question No. 7 Re: How important is it to you that Lindores remains a family business and that you like working with companies that hold similar family values. We have been operating our distillery, even though owned by a large international brewing company, in a similar manner for the past 30 years but believe that this is about to change which I have to admit to finding most disconcerting as I believe that family businesses are more caring and understanding of their customers and staff. It is not all about the bottom line, more about service, commitment and building relationships. So, yes, I believe it is very important that your distillery remains in the hands of the family.

    1. Thank you Colin, we agree with you! A number of our family work at the distillery, and our niece, who works for us part time, has even volunteered to take on a an extra role of trainee beekeeper!

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