Thursday, December 14, 2017


The Fife based Lindores Abbey Distillery, has announced that it carried out the first distillation in 523 years yesterday, at the site which is known as ‘the spiritual home of Scotch whisky’.

Lindores Abbey Distillery, the brainchild of Drew McKenzie-Smith and his wife Helen, officially opened in October this year on the site of the first recorded whisky distillation in Scotland.

Lindores Abbey Distillery Stillroom

Yesterday, Distillery Manager Gary Haggart, who has over 20 years’ experience in the Scotch whisky industry, had the honour of taking the first cut of spirit from the three unique stills and saving it to be to be stored in Woodford Reserve and Old Forester bourbon barrels.

Unlike many other new distillery’s, Lindores Abbey Distillery will not produce gin from its new make spirit in the interim three year wait for Scotch whisky status. In-keeping with its unique heritage, Lindores Abbey will produce aqua vitae, initially for sale exclusively from its visitor centre.

Taking inspiration from the provenance of the original brewing and agriculture of the Abbey grounds, Lindores Abbey Aqua Vitae will include herbs and spices which would have grown on the site in 1494 and been used in the spirit production.

Bee hives are also being reintroduced to revive the honey production of the monks, and orchards are being planted next spring where Scotland’s largest pear tree once stood. To take advantage of this innovation, an apothecary has been created within the visitor centre, overseen by Heriot Watt Brewing and Distilling graduate, Tim Foster.

Commenting on the news, Gary Haggart, Distillery Manager at Lindores Abbey Distillery, said: “Distilling the first spirit at Lindores Abbey in more than 500 years is such an honour, and with this innovative and world-class distillery behind me, it’s now the task of the team here to produce a Scotch Whisky worthy of its spiritual home. We’re looking forward to that challenge, using all of the expertise and passion Drew and Helen McKenzie Smith have garnered from across the industry, and it will be our pleasure to welcome whisky pilgrims through our doors to share in the spirit of this unique place.”

Lindores Abbey Distillery, will produce 150,000 litres of spirit a year and is now offering tours of its facilities and visitor centre.

Posted by Steve Rush