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Scotch Whisky history revived in Fife

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The historic first distillation in more than 500 years has taken place at Lindores Abbey Distillery in Newburgh

The distillery opened in October on the site of the first recorded whisky distillation in Scotland. The exchequer rolls of 1494, note that Friar John Cor of Lindores Abbey in Fife paid duty on eight bolls of malt to make aqua vitae (400 70cl bottles) for King James IV.

Distillery Manager Gary Haggart had the honour of taking the first cut of spirit from the three unique stills and saving it to be to be stored in Woodford Reserve and Old Forester bourbon barrels from Kentucky. Lindores Abbey Distillery will produce 150,000 litres of spirit a year and will now welcome visitors for distillery tours of the site.

Lindores Abbey will produce also aqua vitae, initially for sale exclusively from the visitor centre in Newburgh. Taking inspiration from the provenance of the original brewing and agriculture of the Abbey grounds, the product will include herbs and spices which would have grown on the site in 1494 and been used in the spirit production.

Beehives are also being reintroduced to revive the honey production of the monks, and orchards are being planted next spring where Scotland’s largest pear tree once stood. To take advantage of this innovation, an apothecary has been created within the visitor centre.

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(images copyright Lindores Abbey Distillery)

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