The month of May is almost over; the summer months are fast approaching.
This means one thing in the distillery – the process water starts to rise in temperature and there is a daily struggle to get the wort cooled down, so as to give the yeast a fighting chance of converting all the sugars into alcohol. Otherwise the stills can’t operate to full potential without overworking the condensers.
Normally at this time we start making adaptions to our setting temperature (the temperature you aim to have the wort sitting at in the washback as you finish filling it). This also determines what temperature the fermentation peaks at, ideally we like to get up to about 32.5c from a setting temp of approx. 19c. The issue is, if you cannot get your setting temp down to 19c or below, then your fermentation temp peaks to high and the yeast can start to die off. And so we have just moved onto our summer yeast, a more tolerant strain that can work 3c higher than normal.
It’s a work in progress, and we are learning to work with the new yeast and find its optimum working temps. It’s good, it’s new and it’s challenging! We are also onto a new barley for our malt. We previously used Concerto and we are now on Laureate. Is there a difference? Yes – very subtle; if anything a further enhancement of fruit, especially fresh cherries.
What else from the distillery ? Well, we are about to give it a little rest as we transfer skills and embark very shortly on our first big volume bottling run. Is it a little daunting? Yes. Is it going to be ‘edgy’? Yes. Will there be blood, sweat and tears? I can unequivocally say yes to that too! But these are times of ‘firsts’ and we have to remember them and try and enjoy them!
In the warehouse, we continue mainly to fill Bourbons, our mainstay cask; And we have some new casks due in for private cask filling in soon. Elliot keeps a steady pace of casks requiring filled, with a great demand for sherry hogsheads, both Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez.
Some of you may have followed along with our recent tweet tasting with Steve Rush on Twitter. Give him a follow @thewhiskywire – if you put in a search for #lindoresabbey you can follow it up. We shared four different cask drams and got some fantastic feedback – but also criticism, which for me is the feedback that I learn from, adapt and improve on. It’s invaluable because it’s honest. A surprise on the night (well, to some!) was a dram from an ex-peated Islay cask. I will be the first to admit that peated whisky was not my thing until Elliot and Tim converted me with some top drawer drams; however I think we could have sold the contents of that cask twice over, and luckily in many respects the owner of said cask (a lady not a million miles away from the heart of Lindores) was over the moon and has started negotiations for its safe release back into distillery hands.
As to the Lindores Single Malt Scotch Whisky : it’s almost there! The cask ratio has been chosen, the bottling strength agreed, the casks ordered for disgorging, the materials on order, the many, many empty bottles available and enough cork stoppers to float a sinking ship. it’s a time of logistics, luck and learning for the team at Lindores, so from me it’s time to sign off and if you don’t hear from me In June we can maybe reconnect in July over a Dram!
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– Complimentary bottle (1 of only 1494) from our first distillery bottling of Lindores Abbey Single Malt Whisky and a complimentary bottle of Aqua Vitae
– First offer on Limited Edition bottlings
– Rights to your own bottle number, when applicable
– FREE entry to the distillery for life
– FREE annual tickets to the ‘Bear Burning’ Ceremony and ceilidh for you and a guest
– 10% discount on our Online Shop and at the Visitor Centre
– 10% discount on venue hire
– Donation made on your behalf to the Preservation Society and a tree is planted in our new orchards in your name