WHILE some of the larger distilleries might be playing the wider market in terms of sourcing home-grown malting barley for their product, some of the more recent craft distilleries are certainly hoping to cash in on what the French call, the terroir of their product.

One such is Lindores Abbey Distillery, which is returning to its historic roots after forming a partnership with Crafty Maltsters, the family-owned malting company recently featured in The SF, and Falkland Estate – all based in Fife.

The local maltsters will be using organic barley grown on the Falkland Estate, once the site of the Forest of Falkland and the hunting park of the Stuart monarchs. It's a pretty special place in the history of the amber nectar in Scotland.

It was while King James was at Falkland Palace in 1494 that he commanded Friar John Corr, a monk of Lindores Abbey, to make ‘8 bolls of malt,’ a command which is now famously recognised as the earliest known written reference to Scotch whisky.

Drew McKenzie Smith, founder of Lindores Abbey Distillery, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Crafty Maltsters. It is wonderful to be bringing our story back full circle, too, with our links to King James IV and his hunting lodge at Falkland – we have 16th century records of the Lindores monks and Falkland Palace trading goods such as plums and apples.”

Alison Milne, of Crafty Maltsters, said: “We rely on provenance, quality and sustainability to deliver a unique malt product to our customers and are thrilled to be partnering with both Lindores and Falkland Estate to enhance our commitment to strengthening and celebrating Fife’s amazing heritage."

For his part, Ninian Stuart, Hereditary Keeper of Falkland Palace and chairman of Falkland Estate Trust, commented: “It is exciting to be collaborating with Lindores Abbey Distillery and Crafty Maltsters to revitalise the ancient links between Falkland, Auchtermuchty and Lindores Abbey in the creation of a new whisky for the enjoyment of people today, giving as much pleasure as it would have to James IV and his court.”

Drew added: “We are very pleased to be partnering with such a local business. Reducing our footprint and keeping our production as low-impact as possible is incredibly important to us. The monks producing their aqua vitae back in 1494 would have used locally sourced barley, perhaps even from Falkland Estate itself.”

The first release from Lindores Abbey Distillery is being made available through membership to the 1494 Society. Lifetime membership costs £500 and includes a numbered bottle of our first ever whisky release, priority access to all future numbered bottlings, lifetime free access to the distillery, a donation to the preservation of the Abbey ruins, a tree planted in your name in our Abbey orchards, and an exclusive invitation to the annual Bear Burning party.

Only 1494 memberships to the 1494 Society will be available and a spokesman told The SF that only a fraction of membership places remain – get in quick for a special Christmas present! https://lindoresabbeydistillery.com