Just east of Newburgh, overlooking the Tay River in Scotland’s Lowlands sits Lindores Abbey Distillery – arguably, the spiritual home of Scotch whisky. The distillery occupies the site of the eponymous Lindores Abbey, founded in 1191. The earliest written reference of aqua vitae (as Scotch whisky was then known) appears in abbey documents from 1494 when Brother Jon Cor was tasked with producing it for King James IV.
The self-described “Custodians of Lindores” are Drew McKenzie Smith and his wife Helen. Lindores has been in the family since Drew’s grandfather bought Lindores farm in 1913 but it is Helen and Drew who have restored whisky production at Lindores in their newly built distillery. Working with legendary whisky consultant Dr Jim Swan throughout the design process, the buildings incorporate the abbey’s history and archaeology with swathes of modern glass and light. The first single malt whisky was then released in 2021.
As well as producing a selection of single malts, Lindores Abbey stays true to its roots and still makes an Aqua Vitae botanical spirit made with local herbs and spices including Douglas fir.