Time for another new distillery, this time from Scotland : The Kingbarns distillery, fife. The distillery is the brainchild of Douglas Clement who teamed up with the Wemyss family (a well known Indie bottler and whisky maker).
The Wemyss family has lived and worked in Fife for generations and has a longstanding passion for whisky dating back to the 19th Century, continuing to this day with their successful Wemyss Malts range. Their long held dream however was to make fine single malt whisky in Fife. When approached by former professional Kingsbarns Golf Links caddy Douglas Clement in 2010 with the idea of converting the semi derelict B-listed farm at Kingsbarns into a new distillery for the ‘home of golf’, their dream began to take shape. After a three year restoration project which carefully retained the building’s ancient features and charm, the distillery was officially opened on St Andrew’s Day 2014, with the first whisky laid down in March 2015.
The East Neuk enjoys high levels of sunshine, good soil and not too much rain, which creates the perfect growing conditions for barley. Every drop of Dream to Dram is made from barley harvested in these sun-soaked fields. The addition of pure, rich mineral water drawn from an aquifer 100 meters below the Distillery adds to the local character and light, fruity flavor profile of the whisky.
A long, slow production process in copper pot stills is at the heart of distillation: a 3 – 5 day fermentation period, wash stills that run for 8 hours and a slow running spirit still with high cut points. That will never change and the stills will never run any faster.
Maturation is primarily in high calibre first fill bourbon casks (90%), sourced exclusively from Heaven Hill in Kentucky by Isabella Wemyss, with the remainder maturing in STR casks ( shaved, toasted and re-charred wine casks) All Kingsbarns casks are matured in warehouses not far from the distillery in Fife.
Kingsbarns distillery Dream to Dram , 46% abv , £44.95
Nose: Creamy and sweet with vanilla, apple and pear pie, with soft spices, and feels fresh and young. with quite some alcohol and pencil shavings, creme Catalan and a hint of banana with some new-make notes. not bad, but showing its young age, of course.
Palate: bitter sweet with lots of vanilla, and toasted oak, bitter coffee beans, apple and citrus peel. quite wood driven despite its young age. but the balance is good.
Finish: short, with toasted wood, bitter chocolate, and apple peel, cereals.
Conclusion: This is a lovely young whisky, fresh, fruity and sweet, which displays notes of new make with nice wood touches and creamy vanilla coming from the combination of ex-bourbon and STR casks. It’s only 3 years old and the young ages does show.. While the whisky would surely benefit from more time in the cask, it shows promise indeed. We will be on the lookout for new products emerging from this young and promising Lowlands whisky distillery. Looking forward!
Available at Master of Malt for £44.95