InchDairnie Distillery has started production of a pot still-style whisky which it believes to be the first of its kind made in Scotland this century.
The Fife distillery – which released its first whisky, the lauded RyeLaw, in April – has started production of a 'Scottish pot still' spirit which will eventually be released as part of its experimental PrinLaws Collection.
The distillery team have taken their lead from the legally defined Irish style of pot still whisky, as set out in the 2014 Irish Whiskey technical file (which states that the mash bill must contain at least 30 per cent each of malted barley and unmalted barley with no more than five per cent of non-barley cereals, such as oats and maize).
InchDairnie's 'pot still whisky' mash bill comprises 60 per cent malt (a variety sourced from Canada with high diastic power, which aids the conversion of starch to sugar) with 35 per cent unmalted barley and five per cent malted rye, both from Scotland's Balgonie Estates. The resulting wash was double distilled and filled into first-fill bourbon barrels.
InchDairnie founder Ian Palmer said: “While this style of whisky was once commonly produced in Scotland centuries ago, it has fallen out of favour in recent times, which is a real shame as there are some fascinating flavour characteristics to come from working with malted and unmalted grains of various types. We’ve bridged the traditions between Scotch and Irish whisky to create a truly innovative whisky that I’m sure will delight drinkers in the years to come.”
Distillery manager Scott Sneddon added: “Our three Ms philosophy – materials, method and maturation – is deeply rooted in this latest experimentation. We’ve kept to a double distillation as is tradition in Scotland, and we can’t use enzymes to improve sugar conversion, unlike in Ireland. While we need to wait for the results of years of maturation in our ex-bourbon casks, we anticipate a more complex, spicy oily whisky than what you’d expect in an Irish pot still whiskey.”
This 2023 PrinLaws Collection project follows experimental distillations of wheated whisky (2022) and a sour mash bill (2021).