Lindores Abbey Distillery

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The Distillery at Lindores Abbey
Distillery history
Distillery history

The Spiritual Home of Scotch Whisky

Distilling was taking place on this site at least as early as 1494, although it was most probably happening long before that.

We know this because of the earliest written reference to Scotch Whisky (or Aqua Vitae, as it was then known), which appears in the Exchequer Roll of the same year. It mentioned a Brother John Cor, a Lindores monk, who was commissioned by King James IV to turn 8 bolls of malt into Aqua Vitae.

8 Bolls of malt amounts to around 500kg in modern terms and would have been enough to make about 400 bottles of today’s whisky.

In 2017, spirit started flowing once again from copper stills at Lindores Abbey Distillery.

Learning as much as we can from the great Scottish distillers around us, past and present, and from others much further afield, we are looking forward to bringing a very modern whisky-making approach to this ancient site.


Our Story

Whisky Making

The water for our whisky comes from a borehole near the distillery, in order that we can draw from the same supply used in 1494.  The barley is grown in Fife, malted and then mashed in a conventional, semi-lauter tun supplied by renowned distillery fabricators, Forsyths of Rothes. In June 2019 we started using the Concerto strain of barley grown on two local farms whose fields border the distillery and would have originally been abbey lands. By the end of 2019 we aim to use locally grown Lindores barley exclusively.

Fermentation is happening in traditional wooden washbacks, supplied by Joseph Brown of Dufftown.

We have three Forsyths copper pot stills, one large wash still and two smaller spirit stills, which allows greater copper contact in the final distillation, creating a clean and delicate flavour in the spirit.



We’ve worked hard to establish relationships that enable us to source highly unique casks, and we now have an astonishing variety available, although the firkin and quarter casks are going to be extremely limited this year, so if you want one, you need to get in quick! No two casks are truly the same, and we will work with you to create a tailor-made experience and find your perfect match.  

Firkin Ex R Wine Charred
Ex R Wine Charred
Sherry Firkin
Ex Bourbon Firkin
Bourbon Quarter Cask
Refill Quarter Cask
Peated Refill Quarter Cask
Old Forrester ASB
Peated Refill ASB
STR (Wine Barrique)
Bourbon Hogshead
Refill Sherry Hogshead
2nd Refill Sherry Hogshead
Refill Whisky Butt
Refill Whisky Puncheon
Oloroso Sherry Butt
Port Pipe


Caring for the environment is very important to us, which is why we are going so far in our plans to reinstate the ancient gardens and orchards around the distillery.

Our aim has always been to use local malt and we are delighted to have now secured all production for 2020 to use local barley from the fields that would have originally have been abbey lands, and influenced by the yearly farming cycles and natural rhythms of the land.

28 tonne loads are delivered every 3 and a half weeks to us at the distillery, and we mill the malt ourselves on site to our own specifications.

Any draff leftover gets sent to feed the cattle on the farm from where our barley is grown, so it all goes full circle.

Private whisky casks
Private whisky casks

Cask Ownership


We are rightly proud of our award-winning New Make Spirit, and as a small, family-run distillery, we delight in the freedom we have to work with this incredibly versatile spirit. It allows us to raise the bar in terms of exclusivity, obscurity and the sense of having something truly personal and unique to offer to our cask owners.

Our Cask Ownership experience is a chance to become an integral part of Lindores Abbey Distillery’s journey as the spirit flows once again at the Spiritual Home of Scotch Whisky. You will not only be able to choose your individual cask size and flavour profile, but you will also receive invitations to exclusive cask-owner events, such as our Cask Buyers Evenings. You are even welcome to visit your cask and chat with our in-house Cask Custodian about its progress. Ultimately, owners of Private Casks will have their own unique bottling of Lindores Abbey Distillery Single Malt Whisky, which can be personalised with your name, company logo, family crest etc.


In 2020, our Distillery Manager and Cask Custodian will be offering 4 exclusive opportunities to purchase from our strictly limited premium releases.  We will be carefully selecting these special casks based on how our award-winning spirit is developing within and keeping a close eye on unique emerging taste profiles. We will always offer them to the 1494 Members and the Cask Owners of Lindores Abbey early, so by becoming a 1494 Member or a Cask Owner you will always be notified first. 

Get in touch with Elliot our dedicated full-time Cask Custodian who can give you the best insight to what to buy and when.


Australian Wine Barrels

We are now working with Scott and Nick from Nebb Whisky Barrels, to import Australian Wine Casks back into Scotland and are using them for the maturation and finishing of our Single Malt Whisky.

To our knowledge these are the first Australian Wine Barrels to ever be brought into Scotland and we are very excited to see what they can deliver! We have 110 red wine hogsheads and barriques onsite, which contained some of the best red wine Australia has to offer, including Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon from the Adelaide Hills and Coonowarra.

These barrels come from vineyards such as Brand’s Laira, Roy Kidman Wine Co., Wood Block Wines, and Nova Vita Wines.

Australian Wine Barrels
Australian Wine Barrels
Aqua Vitae Perfect Serve
Aqua Vitae Perfect Serve

While we wait for our Whisky

Aqua Vitae

Aqua Vitae, the first release from Lindores Abbey, is a handcrafted botanical spirit, made on site using spices, dried fruit and locally grown green herbs such as Douglas fir and sweet cicely.

With citrus notes and full of sweet and spiced flavours, Aqua Vitae is delicious as a mixed drink or a cocktail base.

The earliest Aqua Vitae was made at Lindores as long ago as 1494, and we’ve authentically recreated that recipe and reimagined it as an inquisitively versatile spirit. Today, our Aqua Vitae is distilled in pot stills and then infused with a blend of spices and herbs, including cleavers, and sweet cicely, which grow in our gardens, amidst the grounds of the ancient Abbey. It is entirely natural, with no added sugars.

We recommend drinking Aqua Vitae in a Highball glass filled with ice, pour over 50ml of Aqua Vitae topped with Ginger Ale, and garnish with a twist of Orange.


New Make Spirit

In 2018 we released our very first New Make Spirit to the public and they sold out by early 2019. We also produced a very limited run of Limited Edition Numbered Bottles that until 30th June 2019 were only available to Members of the 1494.

We are now delighted to release these bottles to the public and allow you to to start your own numbered collection of Lindores Abbey Distillery Special Editions.

These unique bottles cost £22.50, and £2.50 of this is donated to our Preservation Society  to help preserve and continue the traditions that were established here at Lindores over 500 years ago.

Buy New Make
Lindores New Make Spirit
Lindores New Make Spirit
Lindores Abbey Distillery
Lindores Abbey Distillery

Distillery Tours

You can come and take a tour of our Distillery and find out what goes into producing whisky.

Once you’ve learned the ins and outs of distilling, you’ll be able to try two delicious drams for yourself. With the help of our expert guides you will experience all stages of the whisky making process from mashing and fermenting to distilling and maturation. Learn about how after a  break of 523 years, we are once again bringing whisky production back to the spiritual home of scotch whisky.

Tours are available at 10:30am, 12:00pm and 2:00pm, and we are open 7 days a week from 10am – 4pm.

Distillery Tours

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