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Issue 129 - In the Fiefdom of Fife

Whisky Magazine Issue 129
July 2015


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In the Fiefdom of Fife

Let the spirit flow at Kingsbarns and Eden Mill

The ‘Kingdom of Fife' in eastern Scotland is home to the country's largest whisky distillery, namely Diageo's Cameronbridge grain facility, which is capable of turning out over 100 million litres of spirit per year. Cameronbridge was founded back in 1824 by members of the famous Haig family, a prolific distilling dynasty, which operated many distilleries across central and Lowland Scotland and became synonymous with one of the world's best-selling blended Scotch brands.

Fife has a rich distilling heritage, with the earliest surviving reference to Scotch whisky in 1494 being linked to Lindores Abbey, and the owners of the abbey land are planning a new distillery there (see Whisky Magazine 125). The current Scottish distillery-building boom is also seeing the construction of InchDairnie distillery at Glenrothes by John Fergus & Co Ltd, due to open for business later this year. Meanwhile, well below the radar, the Cuthbert family's farm distillery of Daftmill, near Cupar, has been operating since 2005, and aficionados are eagerly awaiting the first releases.

Within the last eight months two new Fife distilleries have come on stream, and while there are significant differences between them, both share a link with the aforementioned Haig family. Eden Mill, located near the historic university town of St Andrews, has been developed on the site of Seggie distillery, operated by Haigs between 1810 and 1860, while Kingsbarns is owned by the Wemyss family, of Wemyss Castle, on the...

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