Now I must ask, do you like butter? Because if you do this whisky is for you.
The Distillery at Lindores Abbey – The Spiritual Home of Scotch Whisky
Let’s dive into some history! In 1494 in an entry in the Exchequer Rolls of Scotland of “eight bolls of malt to Friar John Cor wherewith to make aquae vitae” for the King (James IV). Aquae Vitae meaning water of life and in turn whisky. This mention in 1494 is the first ever proof of whisky being distilled in Scotland. Friar John Cor was of the Benedictine Order at Lindores Abbey!
What would eight bolls of aquae vitae be, well that’s about 300 litres of spirit! That’s 400 bottles of whisky!
In 1912, the site was purchased by John Howison, a farmer. The lands were passed down through the generations and are now owned by Howison’s great-grandson, Drew McKenzie Smith.
With a dream of bringing distilling back to the Spiritual Home of Scotch Whisky, in 2017 spirit started flowing again from copper stills at Lindores Abbey, after a break of 523 years and releasing their first whisky this month!
With sourcing their barley grown in fields that neighbour the distillery, it would have been the same that was originally cultivated by the monks in 1494!
They have a 2 Ton Mash Tun and complete 5 mashes per week, they recirculate the first of the wort back into the mash so as not to take solids through which then provides a clear wort and bring more of a fruity character which is then fermented. Two of the mashes are fermented at 72 hours and the other three at 114 hours. This would bring forward some great tropical fruits and honey notes from the long fermentation!
There is a single 10,000 litre charge on the wash still, they let it froth up at the start, stop the steam to let settle for twenty minutes then bring back in the steam. With this the low wines come in very tropical with notes of pineapple, mango, coconut, banana orange, lemon, and lime. They then run two small stills together for more copper contact and a bit of complexity, although made identical they give a slightly different character.
All new make spirit is filled by hand into casks (a huge selection as well) on site and either matured at the distillery or at their offsite warehouses.
Now to the whisky!
When converting the abbey and farm into the distillery, they were delighted to unearth lots of carved stones that had been buried for hundreds of years. Finely carved stones that were used in the ancient Monastery of Lindores, and the distillery wanted to replicate that shape in the bottles.
The Lindores Single Malt Scotch Whisky MCDXCIV (1494) was matured in a selection of Bourbon Barrels, Wine Barriques and Sherry Casks and bottled at 46%, non-chillfiltered and of natural colour.
Lots of creaminess filled with toffee apples and caramel goodness! It is smooth, and I love the citrus touch on the palate and the tropical fruits that stand out!
This is a definite hit for their first release, and I can’t wait for what they release next.