Lindores Abbey Distillery

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5th October marks our first anniversary as it is one year since Lindores Abbey Distillery threw open its doors for the first time, having brought distillation back to the spiritual home of Scotch whisky after 500 years.

First anniversary
The opening of the distillery in 2017 with Richard ‘The Nose’ Paterson and Ian Rankin


In just a year, Lindores Abbey Distillery has achieved some remarkable feats.

  • Receiving 5-star visitor centre status from Visit Scotland
  • Being selected as a finalist in Rural Business of the Year awards (winner to be announced in October)
  • Securing exclusive distribution deals with Gordon & MacPhail and La Maison du Whisky
  • Building its own labyrinth in the Abbey ruins
  • Releasing our first bottling, Aqua Vitae, a tribute to the very origins of Scotch whisky
  • Becoming the largest employer in Newburgh and the surrounding area
  • Leading more than 2,000 distillery tours
  • Hosting sold-out events, celebrity weddings and community get-togethers

On Friday 5 October, the distillery will celebrate its first anniversary by hosting celebrations with all the staff in our Legacy Bar with food, cocktails, drams and of course, cake. Members of the public and our supporters and members are all welcome.

First Anniversary

Drew McKenzie Smith, the MD and founder of Lindores Abbey Distillery, commented:

‘To say that this year has flown is an understatement. The past twenty-five years of my life have been dedicated to getting this project off the ground, and to be able to stand in the still house overlooking the ruins now is simply a dream come true. With the help of our outstanding team, loyal visitors and enthusiastic supporters, we have achieved so much in just 12 months. We are looking forward to raising a glass of Aqua Vitae to the future on Friday.’

For further information and images, please contact our PR Manager Poppy McKenzie Smith


  • Lindores Abbey was founded in 1191 by David Earl of Huntingdon, on land overlooking the River Tay, given to him by his brother King William I. It was visited by Kings and Queens, warriors and statesmen. William Wallace took refuge with 300 of his men after their victory over the English.
  • Built directly on the site of the Lindores dairy farm steading Drew McKenzie Smith’s great grandfather bought in 1913, the Lindores Abbey ​Visitor Centre has been crafted from original Abbey stone. It features an illustrated history of the Tironensian monks who founded the Abbey. The records, artefacts and scriptures of their time at Lindores are displayed within the stunning new Cloister of the venue, which serves serve as a unique event and private dining space which can seat 60 guests at its stately 52-foot oak table.
  • Lindores Abbey ruins, ​where William Wallace rested after the Battle of Black Earnside in 1298, the burial site of the first Duke of Rothesay, and a place of exceptional tranquillity and beauty, are open to the public by appointment.
  • Memberships ​of the Lindores Abbey Distillery Preservation Society start at £60, with more information available at Lindoresabbeydistillery.com
  • Lindores Abbey single malt casks for private ownership are available for sale, and interest in 2019 casks can be registered on our website
  • For updates ​on life at Lindores Abbey Distillery, visit lindoresabbeydistillery.comand our Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter pages.


2 responses to “Celebrating our first anniversary

  1. Let me introduce myself: I am the 12 great granddaughter of Andrew Leslie, 5th Earl of Rothes, whose family seat was, in his time, in Rothes, Scotland; I am also a descendant of the Lords Lindores, the first of whom (Patrick Leslie) was granted the lands of Lindores Abbey by King James I/VI in 1604. So this brings two connections to Lindores Abby Distillery (the location and the place where your stills were made). There is yet a third connection: I was born, raised and still live in Oregon, U.S.A., where your pine washbacks are from. I think that is quite amazing to have three connections to you.

    Today, it came to me that I should look up the history of Lindors chocolates to find out if there was a connection to my family. I doing so, I found an article about you starting the distillery on the Lidores Abbey site. This brings me to tears to have accidentally found you today.

    I see I have just missed your one-year anniversary celebration. Congratulations! I so wish I could have been there to celebrate with you. For the past few years, I have been wanting to travel to Scotland to see Lindores and Rothes. And I have another reason: The Rothes Glen House has been on the market for a number of years, having been restored in 2004 to a family home again. Although it is not my family’s ancestral home, I loved the idea of starting up a “Wool and Whiskey” fiber retreat there, but I will have to win the lottery to do that. Here’s hoping.

    If I make it to Scotland, I’ll come visit you.

    Rebecca Robinson

    1. Hello Rebecca! Gosh what a lot of links you have to us! It is always lovely to meet people with connections to Lindores, and we so hope that you get to visit us one day. You are very welcome anytime.

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