Lindores Abbey Distillery / Aqua Vita
Distilling was taking place on our 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.
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.
Another way to enjoy Aqua Vitae is to simply pour over ice with a twist of orange.
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.
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.