These are my tasting notes from the Lindores Abbey tweet tasting held on October 15th. I've included some of the info about the distillery and spirits that we learned on the evening from @TheWhiskyWire and @LindoresAbbey. My thanks to Steve and the distillery for allowing me the opportunity to take part, and my apologies for the delay in posting my notes!
Lindores Abbey New Make Spirit - 73% abv - £n/a
"New Make Spirit is the core a raw essence of what will be whisky, once it’s been aged in oak casks for a minimum of 3 years.
The Fife based @LindoresAbbey Distillery, the brainchild of Drew McKenzie-Smith and his wife Helen, officially opened last October, followed by the first distillation on the site in over 500 years in December. The water source for @LindoresAbbey comes from a borehole near the distillery, so they can draw from the same supply used in 1494.The distillery ferments for 114 hours, in traditional wooden washbacks, supplied by Joseph Brown of Dufftown. The distillery has three Forsyths copper pot stills, one large wash still and two smaller spirit stills, which allows greater copper contact in the final distillation, which is said to create a clean and delicate flavour in the spirit.
New Make Spirit: 73% ABV – Produced using 100% Fife grown barley, which was malted and then mashed in a conventional, semi-lauter tun supplied by renowned distillery fabricators, Forsyths of Rothes.."
Nose: Quite fruity, lots of peach coming through. A sort of 'dusty' quality too. Not too overpowering despite the strength.After some time it really smells of toffee… properly sweet nose.
Worth noting that it has really good legs! It's really thick and leaves a real tide mark on the glass. According to @LindoresAbbey, "The shape of the stills with the descending lyne arms encourages oils to come over at the very start of distillation".
Palate: That's punchy :-) Massive fruity kick - green apple, tropical sweetness, but still with this dusty quality that I can't quite place… slightly vegetal? With water - getting fudge now, and more cereal notes. Still a good fruity undertone though.
Finish: It's not very long, and without water you get a lot of lemon oil… with water it just fades quickly.
Lindores Abbey Aqua Vitae - NAS, 40% abv - £40
"Lindores Abbey Aqua Vitae, is distilled in pot stills and then infused with a blend of spices and herbs, including cleavers, lemon verbena, douglas fir and sweet cicely. All of which are grown in the grounds of the Abbey. Aqua Vitae, is a tribute to the origins of Scotch as we know it today. The earliest was made at Lindores Abbey in 1494. Thought to have helped to ‘sloeth age’ and ‘abandoneth melancholy’, it was a powerful tonic that was drunk by kings and commoners alike. Lindores Abbey, is known as the ‘spiritual home’ of Scotch whisky thanks to Friar John Cor, who paid duty on malt in 1494 in order to make ‘aqua vitae’ for the king… an act that was recorded in the Exchequer roll and is the earliest written evidence of whisky distillation in Scotland."
Nose: That's a bit different. Lots of ginger initially, freshley grated and sweet stem. A little clove. Also something akin to fizzy cola bottle sweets. Real herbal, spicy quality overall, with a little touch of pine at the end.
Palate: Reminiscent of home brewed ginger beer… very fresh ginger (unsurprisingly!), sweet & tangy. Almost fizzy. There is a slight maltiness in the back ground..
Finish: Nice, fresh and sweet spicey finish. Getting the cloves from the nose, and a little candied lemon peel.
Lindores Abbey Cask Blend - 60% abv - £n/a
"A blend of 3 single casks aged for 7 months. Lindores Abbey Cask Blend Sample: Matured in first fill bourbon (Old Forester) and Oloroso Sherry casks, which have been shaved, toasted and recharred. Lindores Abbey, have so far filled over 800 casks, some of which are unique and include Tiron virgin oak and Monbazillac wine casks."
Nose: Toffee & creamy caramel notes, sweet clementine. There are some floral undertones there too, and a slight hint of mint.
Palate: Does have a young feel to it as you'd expect. Orange oils, clove and toasted coconut mingle with something akin to cinammon toast. With water, more vanilla notes but not much of a change.
Finish: Not a huge finish, but you get weetabix with milk at the end. And tea! (as noted by @SmileySmoggy :-)).
Very interesting evening, and nice to try something different. I really enjoyed the Aqua Vitae, as did my wife who nabbed herself a cheeky sip! It would be a nice alternative to turn to of a night.