The Lindores Distilling Co Ltd by Paul Mclean – Whisky News

Lindores exterior view of the still room at Lindores Abbey Distillery

The Lindores Distilling Co Ltd

Being half an hour from Liz and Paul, it is a must see distillery in progress, a crime not to travel this short distance for a new (we say new, but read on) distillery on the doorstep. The earliest Written Reference to distilling taking place on this site was as early as 1494, most probably long before that. Lindores Abbey, or the ‘Church by the Water’, was founded in 1191 by David Earl of Huntingdon, on land overlooking the River Tay (which by the way runs past my hoose – almost), given to him by his brother King William I of Scotland “the lion”. Lindores Abbey was visited by Kings and Queens (including Edward I of England, John Balliol, David II, James III and IV), warriors and statesmen, even big man Willie Wallace took refuge with 300 of his men after their victory over the English at the nearby Battle of Black Earnside (that’s another blog for another day). By the end of the Reformation, the Abbey was beginning to be dismantled (with the Abbey clock purchased by Edinburgh Town Council), but by the 17th Century, it was being used as a quarry, with slate, stone and carvings being taken and used in the building of many houses in neighbouring Newburgh, basically everyone pinching what materials they wished to build with, shame.

We are well-underway with the build and the countdown has started to the day when the stills are run for the first time. The distillery is being created by converting and enlarging the old Abbey farm steading, which was built from original Abbey stone. The glass-fronted stillroom looks directly out over the Abbey grounds. The water comes from a borehole near the distillery, the same supply used in 1494. The barley is grown on their own land, malted and then mashed in a conventional, semi-lauter tun supplied by distillery fabricators, Forsyths of Rothes. Fermentation is in wooden washbacks, supplied by Joseph Brown of Dufftown, yeasts, including an ancient local strain still present naturally at the distillery, with three Forsyths copper pot stills, one large wash still and two smaller spirit stills, creating a clean and delicate flavour in the spirit. The single estate Single Malt whisky (where have you heard that phrase before? Aye, Ballindalloch) will be made with Lindores barley, yeast and water, and so will be very influenced by the yearly farming cycles and natural rhythms of the land. Maturation – a warehouse behind the distillery, experimenting with temperature and evaporation in a way never before done with any scale in Scotland. Should be interesting. The Lindores Abbey Farm was bought by Drew McKenzie Smith’s grandfather in 1913. Like his father before him, Drew now holds the title of ‘Custodian of Lindores’.

So, how was our visit? Well, slightly disappointing if honest. The wee girl showing us around knew the history and patter, but stumbled on a few whisky questions, we both felt is will be more of a tourist attraction than a distillery. Good luck to them, it has been done very well, but am thinking our usual whisky geeks will be left like we were, something missing. To end, we will go back again another time when open and review again, in fact – Paul will be there next April with Ingvar Ronde.

The Lindores Distilling Co Ltd   Lindores Abbey House Abbey Rd Newburgh Fife KY146HH Scotland.

Review by Paul McLean,

Lindores Apothecary

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