InchDairnie was founded by Ian Palmer, a whisky industry veteran of some 45 years, with the goal of bringing innovative materials, production methods, and maturation strategies to the production of Scotch whisky. Located in Fife, the brand-new distillery started producing spirit in December 2015.
Officially categorised as a single grain Scotch whisky, RyeLaw was created from a mash bill of 53 per cent malted rye and 47 per cent malted barley, both extra finely ground before processing in a bid to extract maximum flavour from the grains. The distillery uses one of two Meura mash filters currently operating in Scotland in the mashing of its cereals, and uses a rye-specific yeast in fermentation.
Its spirit is double pot distilled – the first still features an unusual double condenser, and the second is a bespoke Lomond Hill still designed by Palmer and Italian still maker Frilli – and has been matured in charred new American oak casks.
This inaugural release of RyeLaw is the 2017 vintage, bottled at 46.3% ABV and available through retailers including Selfridges, Harvey Nichols, and Fortnum & Mason for a recommended price of £110 per 70cl bottle. Only 200 casks of the 'year one vintage' have been bottled and made available worldwide.
Palmer, InchDairnie's managing director, said: "We’ve been preparing for this day for well over a decade, and it is only now that we feel the quality of RyeLaw meets our exacting standards that we are putting it into bottles. And what a whisky it is... While we are rooted in Scotch whisky tradition, we have explored what is possible when agriculture meets industry and innovative technologies combine with methodology, to create a superb rye whisky that is sure to excite palates."
Scott Sneddon, distillery manager, said RyeLaw bore some resemblance to American rye whiskies, but was an undeniably Scottish take on the style: “The rye spiciness with vanilla, sweet biscuit cereal and dried fruit notes seem much more defined than rye whiskeys from America we’ve compared it to. There’s a richer, more luxurious mouthfeel and great balance, which are certainly helped by the favourable maturation conditions we have in Fife compared to Kentucky. The use of malted rye in the mash means we have a softer, more sippable style of rye whisky."