Kingsbarns Distillery

East Newhall Farm

Kingsbarns, St Andrews

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History: While this is a new distillery, the family that built it nearly three years ago have a long and prestigious history when it comes to whisky in Scotland. The Wemyss family has links with the whisky industry going back to the turn of the 19th century when John Haig (founder of the Haig’s whisky brand) built his first distillery on Wemyss land. Since then they have grown a reputation as one of the worlds best independent whisky bottlers. This site for their first distillery was not chosen by accident with a historical link to when the 7th Earl of Wemyss actually owned part of the Cambo Estate, where the distillery now sits, between 1759 and 1783. The conversion of a historic and semi-derelict farm steading took three years of building and planning before it opened in December 2014.

The spirit: By whisky law in Scotland, you must wait at least three years before being able to call your spirit Scotch single malt whisky. Of course it can be several years after this before you would even consider bottling it and putting it out to the public. So in the meantime, the owners are letting visitors sample their new make spirit, which is the spirit that is created before it goes into their specially chosen casks to be matured. As well as sampling the new make you can try Darnley's Gin, which is also made by the Wemyss family and has recently moved all its production to the Kingsbarns distillery. Even the name, Darnley's, is connected to the family. In 1565, Mary Queen of Scots first spied her future husband, Lord Darnley through the courtyard window of Wemyss Castle, the historic family seat of renowned vintners and spirits merchants, the Wemyss family.

Favourite tipple: Try a Darnley's View Gin with Fevertree Tonic and a slice of fresh orange.

Why visit? The distillery is only six miles from St Andrews and set among stunning scenery. It offers a more personal distillery experience than you will find in some of the other bigger distilleries. They have three types of distillery tours suitable for whatever interest you have in whisky. There are also tours of the new Darnley's Gin Distillery called "Discover Darnley’s", which run twice a day at 2pm and 4pm priced at £10. There is a great wee cafe if you fancy hanging around for a bit to take in the scenery.

Geek alert: The pot stills here have been made by legendary coppersmiths Forsyths. This family have been the masters of the copper stills in Scotland and beyond since 1933. The waiting list for Forsyths to create you a bespoke copper still can be years due to their reputation and the number of new distilleries opening all around the world. Today, fourth-generation Richard Ernest carries on the mantle as managing director of the company.

Interesting fact: It was Douglas Clement's vision that first inspired the idea for a distillery at Kingsbarns. It was his dream while working as a professional golf caddie at Kingsbarns Golf Links that would become a reality after he met with the Wemyss family.

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