Whisky returns to Fife distillery after 526 years

A north east Fife distillery has celebrated a historic milestone, as its spirit reaches maturity.

By Jamie Callaghan
Monday, 21st December 2020, 8:18 am
Drew McKenzie Smith, managing director and Lindores Distillery founder, with Gary Haggart, distillery manager. Pic: Tina Norris.
Drew McKenzie Smith, managing director and Lindores Distillery founder, with Gary Haggart, distillery manager. Pic: Tina Norris.

While most distilleries only have to wait three years for their spirit, Lindores Abbey Distillery has had to be a little more patient.

After a hiatus of 526 years, whisky has now officially returned to its spiritual home after first being recorded at Lindores Abbey in 1494.

On December 20, 2017, the first 20 casks were filled and have been watched over carefully ever since. Three years and a day later, the team finally have a spirit which can be called whisky.

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Drew McKenzie Smith, the founder of Lindores Abbey Distillery, commented: “It seems unreal that we have finally reached this milestone in our journey. Whisky and Lindores Abbey have been entwined since the 15th century, and to be able to bring Scotch whisky back to its spiritual home is a dream come true.”

Gary Haggart, distillery manager, added: “Three years ago we set out to make the best spirit we could, and today we have made it a reality. I am immensely proud to be able to share with our team a dram of Lindores Single Malt Scotch whisky that has been 526 years in the making – it is a moment and a drink worth savouring.”

Haggart added that on the nose, the spirit has citrus, red fruit and a malty character, and to taste there are notes of vanilla, caramel and butterscotch.

Those keen to sample a dram of the inaugural release from whisky’s spiritual home for themselves will have to wait a little longer, as the first bottles are due to be released to members of the 1494 Society early in 2021.

Only 1494 bottles will ever be available and are available exclusively through membership. A fraction of places remain –information about how to join the 1494 Society can be found on the website.