So, February came and went quicker than I expected and March is not slowing down either. Every year seems to pass faster – perhaps as I get older!
The bottling facility has had its first run and we did pretty well! It’s 11 years since I last rinsed, filled, capped, labelled and packed a bottle on a production line, but old habits die hard. We were looking for ways to increase throughput, but sometimes you just have to accept it: the line runs at 15 bottles per minute, and that’s as fast as it goes. We have a great wee setup which will see us okay for a couple of years before we upgrade to keep up with projected sales volume.
Where are we in the distillery? Exactly where I hoped to be – spirit on point and the distillery running well. In autumn we winter proofed the outside equipment by using heat tracing and insulation; and already it has paid for itself. In past years we had to get outside with steam hoses and plumbers’ gas torches, trying to unfreeze 4” pipe solid with ice. Not fun: but this year, touch wood, we have been able to press the button and go!
Cask filling: so far it’s been mostly our Old Forester bourbons, which had been sitting around since they arrived in January 2020. We also filled some second fill sherry butts and a fair few privates.
Finally, we filled one stunning cask that our good friends at Nebb Whisky Barrels gave us as part of our ongoing relationship: an ex Hardy’s Wine Hoggy that had been maturing Brandy since 1983; in 2010 it was filled with a McLaren Vale Red Muscat. It had a chocolate, rose petal nose to it; and adding in our trial yeast spirit, that will make for a very interesting cask.
Elliot has asked me to procure casks for our first exotic release, and these will be Amontillado hoggies and butts from an ex-solera, as explained last month. We also procured casks from other areas of Europe and beyond, and there are some absolute belters in there. To find out more please contact our Cask Custodian Elliot on firstname.lastname@example.org as he would be happy to chat casks all day!
The selected casks for the 1494 bottling are due to arrive this week at Lindores, and we will be sampling and combining until we are happy with the final product. It will truly be a unique bottling; and with the character at its heart that defines the Lindores spirit. I struggle to find the words to describe it, and will leave that to Lorena.
Looking out the window I see a fair pauchle of snow; and today we have 28t of malt due for delivery. It takes me back ten years to being up in Speyside and being told, ‘Gary, your first job is to get the distillery a BIG tractor, plough and spreader for the winter’. Nothing will shut a distillery quicker than not being able to get materials either on or offsite. Luckily we have some great people in Newburgh, and I must quickly thank Richard Black of the Braes of Lindores for coming down and clearing the snow, and Fraser Hart from FCH for laying salt down. This allowed the lorry to come in, unload and leave site with very few issues.
Very much appreciated, this time next year they might be leaving with a bottle of warming Lindores Single malt… but that’s next year!
DO NOT MISS YOUR CHANCE TO JOIN THE 1494
The Ultimate Gift for Whisky Lovers: As part of a 1494 Membership you will receive:
– 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