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production facility at the back. The the Scottish government to give him doocot, on the other hand, was left a £600,000 grant to start a new virtually as-is, drifting feathers and distillery. A crowdsourcing campaign all, and became the place of honor raised an additional £46,000 and for Kingsbarns’ very first barrel of demonstrated the local community’s whisky after it was distilled in 2015. commitment to the project. But Drawing on the region’s agricultural Douglas needed something else: traditions, Kingsbarns uses only Expertise. unpeated malt made from Fife“In Scotland, you’re up against really stiff competition,” explains - Scott Robertson grown barley. Water comes from an KINGSBARNS’ VISITOR CENTER aquifer more than 300 feet below Scott Robertson, Kingsbarns’ Visitor DEVELOPMENT MANAGER the distillery. Four pot stills—two Center Development Manager. 7500 liter wash stills, and two 4500 “Heaven help you if your whisky liter spirit stills—made by Forsythes produce enough spirit to fill doesn’t stand up to your competitors’.” So Douglas partnered with about 25 casks a week. When we visited, the spirit wasn’t quite the Wemyss family, a wealthy family with experience in the spirits old enough to be called whisky, but we were able to taste some industry (their line of blended whiskies includes several that make of Kingsbarns’ new make as well as some two-year-old whisky-init across the Atlantic, including Peat Chimney and The Hive) as progress. The new make is fruity and sweet, with a strong fresh well as deep roots and extensive agricultural landholdings in Fife. grain character. After two years in ex-bourbon casks, it’s starting to “They had some expertise, so it was less intimidating for them,” take on a lovely chocolatey quality. Kingsbarns says it’s on track to says Scott. “And the barley fields connected to the family are right release its first whisky in 2018. on the doorstep. The stars aligned.” As anybody who’s ever started (or even visited) a new whisky First, the project needed a place to call home. Douglas and the distillery knows, it’s good to be able to sell something else to pay Wemyss family found a 300-year-old stone farmhouse just outside of the bills while that whisky matures. In that spirit, Kingsbarns also Kingsbarns proper, complete with stables, a barn, a residence, and, makes Darnley’s Gin; a three-gin portfolio including an original yes, a doocot. They refurbished the building, turning the farmhouse London dry prominently featuring elderflowers, a spiced gin and stables into a visitor’s center and café, and adding a modern

“In Scotland, you’re up against really stiff competition. Heaven help you if your whisky doesn’t stand up to your competitors’.”



Artisan Spirit: Winter 2017  
Artisan Spirit: Winter 2017  

The magazine for craft distillers and their fans.