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Issue 138 - Spiritual Home

Whisky Magazine Issue 138
September 2016


This article is 22 months old and some information provided may be time sensitive. Please check all details of events, tours, opening times and other information before travelling or making arrangements.

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Spiritual Home

Lindores Distillery begins to take shape

Usually Whisky Magazine visits new distilleries once they are up and running, with the smell of mash in the air and stills hot and hissing. This time, however, we thought we'd do something different, and chart the progress of a distillery from its inception to the first flow of spirit.

So we will be conducting a series of progress reports about Lindores Distillery in Fife, a place which the late, great writer Michael Jackson once declared should be a place of pilgrimage for every lover of Scotch whisky.

This is because Lindores is regarded as the ‘spiritual home' of Scotch whisky, thanks to Friar John Cor, who paid duty on malt in 1494 in order to make ‘aqua vitae' for the king, an act that was recorded in the Exchequer roll and is the earliest written evidence of whisky distillation in Scotland. Drew Mackenzie Smith and his wife Helen have been toying with the idea of creating a distillery at Lindores for some years, but with private funding now in place the project is physically underway.

Planning permission has been obtained for the work to convert the old steading which stands opposite the ruins of the 12th Century abbey, built by the Tironesian Monks who originated from France, into a distillery and visitor centre.

The steading is over 200 years old and was built with stone from the abbey, so it was necessary to conduct a professional archaeological assessment of the site in order to ensure that there was nothing that should be examined or remain undisturbed, a...

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