The Preservation Society at Lindores Abbey was set up with the mission of allowing Lindores Abbey to flourish again as a site of research, learning, brewing, distilling, horticulture, and beekeeping. By reviving so many of the ancient crafts and traditions that were practised here centuries ago, we hope to see the site of the Abbey returned to its former glory.
The Preservation Society
The Preservation Society is in part funded by donations from Memberships to help us preserve and continue the traditions that were established here more than 500 years ago. Over 100 years ago, the McKenzie Smith family bought the Abbey and farmed the local land. In 2017 the latest Custodian Drew McKenzie Smith, opened Lindores Abbey Distillery on farmland opposite the ruins, with the intention of restoring and preserving the Abbey and reinstating the heritage orchards and extensive gardens which were first introduced here by the Tironensian monks following their arrival in the 12th Century.
Distilling at the Abbey started once again in October of 2017, with both scotch whisky and Aqua Vitae being produced. You can now buy your own Lindores Abbey Whisky Cask and take up a very rare opportunity to own a piece of scotch whisky history. Not only could you secure yourself a personal supply of scotch whisky, a cask could also be a unique gift to mark a special occasion for an individual, business or organisation.
The ancient orchards are being re-planted and after an absence of over 500 years, in 2018 we introduced Bee’s back to Lindores Abbey with 6 hives being set up by the Holy Burn. Our chief beekeeper is Charley Clark, who is only seventeen but has already picked up extensive knowledge and is a now a member of the Fife beekeeping association. Charley has a blog for anyone keen to follow the progress of project ‘Bee’.
Tim, our Apothecary, is always experimenting with many of the wild flowers and herbs that grow around the Abbey and we hope to produce drinks and cordials from these in the years to come.
One of the most pressing restoration tasks is to continue to tackle the ivy that is slowly taking over the ruins. From Drew’s Grandfathers day the family have been maintaining the ivy and cutting it back but this is a huge and laborious process that requires careful advice from Historic Scotland as over the centuries the stone and the ivy have become interdependent and if the ivy was killed off, the walls would crumble.
We could not have got to this point without the support of our Members and it is Memberships that allow us to continue our work of preserving and restoring as much of this ancient site as we can. We would like to be able to uncover more of the archaeology of the site, which has already provided evidence of perhaps the oldest still pit in Scotland, plus signs of distilling and brewing on the site of the new distillery.
We talked to one of our Members, Bobby Findlay, originally from Newburgh but now living in Australia, about why he bought a 1494 Membership:
Why did you choose to become a member of the Preservation Society?
As a child of Newburgh, now living on the other-side of the world, I have always been interested in the tales of the monks and their part to play in the history of Newburgh. When Drew McKenzie Smith started to wax lyrically on Facebook about the Abbey and its part to play in the history of whisky, I was even more intrigued. So, when the chance came along to be a small part of that local history I jumped at the chance.
What does your membership include?
The chances to buy wonderful whisky and plant my own tree in the orchard next time I’m home and get to use my tour.
What benefits have you used so far?
I have used the Legacy Bar and visited the distillery while home in October.
What is your favourite thing about being a member?
I am very impressed with all the names of the Preservation Society on the shelves in the Legacy Bar, a very nice touch. But the best thing is just walking around all the buildings as they are now and remembering what they were like in my childhood.
What sort of person do you think would enjoy being a member?
A person who delights in the History of whisky, and Scotland and some of the finer things in life.
How do you like to drink your Aqua Vitae?
Tall glass, lots of ice and a large slice of lemon and lime.
Anything else you would like to add?
It is a privilege to be a small part of local history and I look forward to the future prosperity of the Lindores Abbey Distillery.
You can help us to further continue the work of the Preservation Society by becoming a member of Lindores Abbey Distillery. A part of every membership is donated to the Preservation Society to help us preserve and continue the traditions that were established here over 500 years ago.
AS A MEMBER OF THE 1494 YOU RECEIVE:
A bottle from the first Limited Edition bottling of Lindores Abbey Aqua Vitae (70CL, 40%ABV)
Entry into our Prize Draw to win one of 8 VIP Trips of a Lifetime to Lindores Abbey Distillery
A donation is made on your behalf to the Preservation Society and a tree is planted in our new orchards in your name (which you are welcome to come and plant with prior arrangement)
A bottle (1 of only 1494) from our first distillery bottling of Lindores Abbey Single Malt Whisky (70CL, 40%+ ABV), ready and sent out to you when our Distillery Manager declares it ready
First offer on any other Limited Edition bottlings and rights to your own bottle number
Rights to purchase your a numbered bottle of our first release Limited Edition New Make Spirit, labelled with your Membership number
A welcome pack with wooden membership card entitling you to free entry for life (non transferable) at the distillery for yourself and a guest
Annual invitation to the Lindores Abbey ‘Bear Burning’ Ceremony and party for you and a guest
10% discount on our Online Shop and at the Visitor Centre
10% discount on venue hire
A truly unique gift for Whisky and History lovers
BUY A 1494 MEMBERSHIP NOW