The Scottish Wemyss family have had a longstanding passion for malt whisky and their connections with the industry date back to the turn of the 19th century when John Haig (founder of Haig’s) built his first distillery on Wemyss land.
The story of Kingsbarns Single Malt Scotch Whisky begins with the conversion of a historic and semi-derelict farmsteading into a distillery.
Kingsbarns Distillery began life as a semi-derelict farm steading – built around 1800 by Thomas Erskine, the ninth Earl of Kellie, as part of East Newhall Farm to service the adjoining Cambo Estate.
Its centrepiece is a doocot, made with over 600 neatly formed terracotta nesting boxes which, at the time, would have housed pigeons to supply the laird’s kitchen with meat and eggs.
A three-year restoration project involving specialist architects, engineers, designers and whisky specialists restored this historic building into the beautiful distillery and visitor centre that is now in place today – including the immaculately restored doocot in pride of place.
The Kingsbarns team is aiming to make the distillery as green as possible and sustainability is at the heart of production. Wastewater goes through reed beds and is returned clean into the local burn; local farmers use waste as fertilizer, and spent grain is used as cattle feed on neighbouring farms. Nothing is wasted and everything goes back into the local environment to the benefit of local businesses.
Our Water – Water is of prime importance when it comes to the production of Scotch whisky and we are lucky to have water of outstanding quality sourced from an aquifer 100 metres beneath our feet. The water fell as rain decades ago and filtered through layers of 300 million-year-old sandstone rock, purifying it. This precious resource is drawn to the surface and harnessed to produce Kingsbarns spirit.
Malted Barley – Kingsbarns use the Laureate variety of barley, grown in the sun-soaked fields of Fife.
Barley goes through a process called malting before it is delivered to us. The barley is first steeped (soaked) through successive immersions with water and “air rests” for two days to start the germination process – breaking down the protein, releasing the starch and synthesising enzymes. The germination process continues over a further 5 days. The barley – now termed green malt – is then laid on a floor and dried over a kiln to stop the germination process. Some distilleries add peat to the fuel to create a smoky whisky, but we use unpeated malted barley at Kingsbarns.Maturation – great lengths have been taken to source quality oak casks supplied from around the world to mature Kingsbarns single malt and impart distinct flavours.
Dream to Dram – light, intensely fruity, floral and balanced, with a rich colour coming from the high-quality casks it has matured in, which perfectly captures the essence of this quiet and enchanting corner of Scotland. A fruity, complex and light whisky bottled from 1st fill ex-bourbon and 1st fill STR barriques. Bottled at 46% ABV. Winner of Best Scotch Lowlands Single Malt at World Whiskies Awards 2020.
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