Dis­tillery re­vives his­toric birth­place of whisky

LIN­DORES: Abbey had first recorded drop of ‘wa­ter of life’ in 1494

The Courier & Advertiser (Fife Edition) - - NEWS - Jamie buchan jabuchan@the­courier.co.uk

The his­toric birth­place of Scot­tish whisky has been re­vived af­ter more than 500 years.

Crime writer Ian Rankin cut the rib­bon on the £7 mil­lion new dis­tillery and vis­i­tor cen­tre at Lin­dores Abbey, near New­burgh.

In 1494, the abbey en­tered the his­tory books with the first recorded drop of “aqua vi­tae”, or wa­ter of life. Friar John Cor paid duty on eight bolls of malt to make whisky for King James IV.

And now the wa­ter of life is set to flow at Lin­dores again.

Drew McKen­zie Smith and his wife He­len, cus­to­di­ans of Lin­dores Abbey, took the wraps off the new cen­tre in a cer­e­mony yes­ter­day hosted by Mr Rankin who, as well as giv­ing the world Re­bus, is some­thing of a whisky en­thu­si­ast.

The Car­den­den-born writer said: “This is an ex­traor­di­nary build­ing and ex­traor­di­nary project.”

Rankin said he de­vel­oped a love of whisky when he joined an Amer­i­can friend on a dis­tillery tour of Scot­land.

“It was the first time I re­ally got the taste for whisky, malt whisky in par­tic­u­lar,” he said. “But the one thing which was miss­ing then – and I think Lin­dores Abbey is go­ing to help with – is some­thing I came across in France: Ter­roir.

“It’s this beau­ti­ful French word which is used by wine-mak­ers. It tells you that the wine is not just a drink. It tells you it’s a phi­los­o­phy, it’s a feel­ing and it’s con­nected to the land, the peo­ple and his­tory.

“It’s some­thing we’ve not done much of with Scot­tish man­u­fac­tur­ing in gen­eral, but this won­der­ful build­ing and the story that it tells, lends it­self to that no­tion of ter­roir.”

Mr McKen­zie Smith said: “Twenty years ago, when I first read the ear­li­est writ­ten ref­er­ence to Scotch whisky dis­til­la­tion in Scot­land, it changed my life and gave me the pur­pose and am­bi­tion to pre­serve Lin­dores Abbey for gen­er­a­tions to come.

“The late, great whisky writer Michael Jack­son wrote of Lin­dores Abbey: ‘For the whisky lover, it is a pil­grim­age.’

“So we are hon­oured to­day to share our vi­sion for the fu­ture and the award­win­ning Lin­dores Abbey sin­gle malt which will safe­guard this tran­quil site of his­toric sig­nif­i­cance.”

Around 150,000 litres of spirit are ex­pected to be pro­duced each year us­ing Fife bar­ley. It will be stored in bour­bon bar­rels from Ken­tucky.

Pic­ture: Rick Booth.

Au­thor Ian Rankin en­joys a dram with abbey cus­to­dian Drew McKen­zie Smith.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.