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InchDairnie release Ryelaw - the Fife distillery's first whisky

A Fife distillery has released its first whisky.

Published: April 26, 2023

InchDairnie Distillery located in Fife has released its much anticipated first whisky - RyeLaw.

RyeLaw has been created using InchDairnie's sophisticated technology to extract maximum flavour from Scottish-grown rye and barley.

The whisky, which was distilled in 2017, is the result of years of meticulous planning by distillery founder Ian Palmer.

A single-minded approach to using innovative materials, methods and maturation practices has resulted in a spicy rye flavour.

How is InchDairnie RyeLaw made?

The whisky, which is made of 53 per cent rye and 47 per cent malted barley, which has been ground to an extra fine grist, is mashed using a Meura mash filter (one of only two used in Scotland).

It is then fermented using a rye-specific yeast, which results in lower yields, but higher flavour and then double distilled in pot stills - not continuous distillation – the first with rare, double condensers and the second a bespoke Lomond Hill still, designed by Ian Palmer alongside stillmaker, Frilli (it is the only precision distilled rye Scotch whisky made in this way).

Finally it is matured in charred new oak casks, created from trees that can be traced back to forests in the Ozark Mountains, USA.

Commenting on the release of Ryelaw, industry veteran of 45+ years and InchDairnie Distillery Managing Director Ian Palmer, said: “We’ve been preparing for this day for well over a decade, and it is only now that we feel the quality of RyeLaw meets our exacting standards that we are putting it into bottles. And what a whisky it is.

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"While we are rooted in Scotch whisky tradition, we have explored what is possible when agriculture meets industry and innovative technologies combine with methodology, to create a superb rye whisky that is sure to excite palates.”

Distillery manager Scott Sneddon added: "The rye spiciness with vanilla, sweet biscuit cereal and dried fruit notes seem much more defined than rye whiskeys from America we’ve compared it to.

"There’s a richer, more luxurious mouthfeel and great balance, which are certainly helped by the favourable maturation conditions we have in Fife compared to Kentucky.

"The use of malted rye in the mash means we have a softer, more sippable style of rye whisky. We look forward to hearing if our American cousins agree.”

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InchDairnie Ryelaw

The bottle has been given almost as much thought, care and attention as the whisky inside, with design aspects that include a ripple effect on one side representing the Company’s “3Ms” philosophy - innovation in materials, methods, maturation.

The bottle’s neck is inspired by the special filter of the hammer mill and on the back of the label, visible through the whisky, is a drawing of the process and 'every drop is precious' written alongside this.

With distillation of this inaugural RyeLaw release taking place in just a single week in the whole year, only 200 casks of the ‘year one vintage’ have been bottled and made available worldwide.

Subsequent vintages are already maturing in different types of cask to those from year one’s Ozark Mountains. RyeLaw is free from colourings and is non-chill filtered.

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With its first distillation on Christmas Day in 2015, InchDairnie Distillery has been quietly building its stocks of whisky, producing different styles, driven by the seasons.

Knowledgeable whisky aficionados have been eagerly awaiting the first release of the distillery’s spirit since news of the engineer-driven, alternative approach being taken at the energy-efficient production facility started becoming public.

The elegantly designed bottles of this 2017 vintage are available from 26 April, RRP £110 (70cl/46.3% ABV), at select retailers including Selfridges, Harvey Nichols and Fortnum & Mason.

Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne, whisky and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind is the Food and Drink Editor and whisky writer for The Scotsman, as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.

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