Kingsbarns Distillery is celebrating after the first casks it filled on March 23 2015 came of age on Saturday – and can now be called Scotch Whisky.
The Wemyss family’s fledgling Fife distillery visitor centre was opened to the public on St Andrews Day 2014, with spirit distillation beginning in January 2015.
After a few months perfecting the spirit style, the distillery manager, Peter Holroyd, proudly filled the first casks.
Initially, all the casks selected were first fill ex-bourbon barrels from Heaven Hill Distillery in Kentucky. The very first cask filled is on display for visitors to see in the oldest part of the farm steading visitor centre called the doocot.
Scotch whisky has to be matured in oak barrels for a minimum of three years and a day in a bonded warehouse in Scotland, so sadly unlike all the other casks of maturing spirit, this first cask will never be able to be called Kingsbarns Single Malt Scotch Whisky.
However, to give a preview of what is to come, Peter Holroyd took the chance to take a sample from this first cask to celebrate its third birthday.
He said: ‘I was very proud to fill this first cask from the spirit I distilled three years ago and am delighted to see the impact that it has had on the colour. On the nose I get custard and apricot Danish pastry, but you still get the Kingsbarns light fruity character. On the palate, there is a wonderful balance of spirit and wood and you can really taste the Kingsbarns signature style.’
William Wemyss on behalf of the family owners added: ‘This is a very exciting time for us at Kingsbarns Distillery uniting the excellent quality barley from local Fife farms, the attention to detail in distilling and the great effort dedicated to acquiring the finest casks for maturing our precious spirit.
‘Now that we have reached the minimum legal age, we can move forwards to sample whisky from our early casks and make some choices regarding the first bottling of our new Lowland malt.’
The first release of Kingsbarns Single Malt Scotch Whisky will be exclusively available to Kingsbarns Founders’ Club members and expected in summer 2018. Membership is still available either at the visitor centre or HERE.