Kingsbarns Distillery unveils its inaugural single malt Scotch whisky

A new whisky distillery in St Andrews has reached an important milestone as it launches its first ever single malt Scotch whisky release.

Published 24th Aug 2018
Updated 21 st Sep 2023

The Founders’ Reserve Inaugural Release, which has been bottled solely for the members of the Kingsbarns Founders’ Club, is the first ever single malt to be released by the fledgling, family owned, Lowland Distillery.

It is the first in a series of five, exclusive, annual bottlings and will be delivered directly to Founders in December 2018.

Kingsbarns Distillery, which was initially founded by a Fife-born golf caddie and with the support and expertise of industry veterans the Wemyss family, was opened in November 2014.

The distillery's single malt Scotch whisky is produced from barley grown on only a handful of local Fife farms to ensure that it is "truly a spirit of the Kingdom of Fife".

The team say that it is slowly fermented using two yeast strains and meticulously distilled to produce a "remarkably clean, complex and light spirit".

The Founders’ Reserve Inaugural Release comprises several casks filled in 2015 using the wood policy set under the expert consultancy of the late Dr Jim Swan.

Each cask was carefully selected by distillery manager Peter Holroyd and the Wemyss family. First fill bourbon barrels, supplied by Heaven Hill Kentucky distillery, were chosen as they imparted, according to the brand, "succulent wood tannins that balance well with the complex Kingsbarns spirit".

Future Founders’ Reserve releases will be drawn from a combination of different cask types and ages, as well as always being bottled at cask strength, non chill-filtered and in their natural colour.

Both the 700ml bottle and presentation box will draw their inspiration from the ‘Doocot’ (or Dovecot) which is the oldest, most striking feature of the restored farm steading in which Kingsbarns Distillery and Visitor Centre is located.

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William Wemyss; family owner of Kingsbarns Distillery, said: “Over the past few years the development of Kingsbarns Distillery and its long awaited single malt has been an enthralling experience and the next chapter in the history of Kingsbarns Distillery is almost complete. I am sure the Founders’ Reserve will meet all expectations and I look forward to sharing this Inaugural Release with fellow Founders’ Club members later this year.”

The first Founders’ Reserve release will be delivered to club members in December of 2018 while non-members can look to early 2019 for more widely available releases.

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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