Enigmatic Fife Distillery to offer whisky fans rare chance to get hands on a cask before single malt release

InchDairnie Distillery is offering a limited number of casks ahead of the eventual release of its single malt, finds Sean Murphy

Published 12th Dec 2018
Updated 21 st Sep 2023

An enigmatic distillery is offering whisky fans a unique opportunity to get their hands on some very rare ­liquid before the eventual release of its much-anticipated single malt in ten to 12 years time.

InchDairnie Distillery has slipped under the radar of many after it opened to little fanfare in Fife in May 2016. However, the forward-thinking purpose-built production site has finally decided to give ­whisky aficionados the chance to peek behind its curtains.

Distillery manager Scott Sneddon said: “In the last three years we’ve been producing spirit – the Strathenry – for our blending stock but what we found is that we were ­getting a lot of people asking if there was going to be a single malt from InchDairnie.
“That got us thinking about how we could could create a product that was distinctive from the ­Strathenry.”


Discussions around how the ­distilling team could create a ­whisky that reflected the advanced production techniques that the distillery employs led to five ­individual expressions – each of which highlighted the futuristic processes involved in their creation as well as the seasonality and style of the cereals used – that would go on to become components of the final InchDairnie single malt.


Industry veteran and distillery founder Ian Palmer added: “We are fortunate not to be under any ­commercial pressure to release our whisky, so we will wait until the whisky is at its absolute best, which could be in ten, 12 or 15 years’ time, only time will tell.”

However, the brand has decided to make its spirit available to the ­public for the first time, with an unconventional cask offer.

Mr Sneddon said: “The ethos we have here is that flavour comes first, and that we want to do ­something that is individual, and bring people along on that journey with us.

“It’s not about putting any liquid into any cask and then releasing that to the customer, we want them to be part of that journey and part of the production and maturation experience.”

Only 30 casks of the rare spirit will be released each year through the InchDairnie Cask Owner’s Club, and, rather than offering exactly the same spirit throughout the five year programme, each year the distillery will only offer one of its five ­component expressions – spring, summer, autumn, winter and its peated expression Kinglassie – the first of which is being recommended for release not before spring 2029.

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The spirit will then be aged for a minimum of 12 years at the distillery – however, owners may choose to mature it for longer.

As it is not open to the ­public, ­owning a cask of InchDairnie ­single malt is the only way to see the ­distillery. Cask owners will be invited to visit and receive a highly technical tour of the entire production process.

They will also be given two 10ml samples of their cask’s spirit at annual intervals during maturation to experience first-hand how the liquid is developing and changing.

Described as a “journey and experience” instead of a “transaction or investment”, cask ownership will also include a private tasting hosted by the ­distillery team at the owner’s home, a bespoke ­display crafted by a local artist for sample bottles, illustrating the cask’s progression over 12 years, and the cask end ­stencilled with their name.

Mr Palmer said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for those passionate about whisky to be a part of the exciting and evolving story of our ingenious distillery. Everything that we do is focused around the quest for ultimate flavour and this method of seasonal distillation is another example of that.”

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• Casks of the Spring 2019 first fill bourbon barrel batch are now available to purchase, for more information: http://inchdairniedistillery.com/a-rare-opportunity-to-own-a-piece-of-history/



Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.
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