InchDairnie distillery

Lowland Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Every aspect of InchDairnie's distillery set up has been designed to maximise flavour, which centres around a theme of seasonality. Both winter and spring Fife barley varieties are used alongside four bespoke yeast strains that change with the seasons. Once matured, all four seasons from a particular year will be vatted together, giving a true taste of single vintage.

In order to process its winter barley and extract maximum yield, InchDairnie has installed a hammer mill and mash filter – only the second Scotch whisky distillery to do so (the other being Teaninich). The result is a clearer-than-average wort that contributes grassy, floral aromas to InchDairnie's distillery character.

The operation goes one step further in creating a light, aromatic spirit through its unusual use of double shell and tube condensers, which not only aids energy efficiency but increases copper contact and allows more control over reflux.

A bespoke Lomond still – the only one in a Scotch distillery to contain plates – is sat, ready to be fully plugged in when InchDairnie is ready to begin triple distillation. Plans for the Lomond are yet to be revealed, but already this distillery is proving its capacity for experimentation and innovation.

InchDairnie's single malt will be ‘a walk in a garden throughout the year’: full of floral aromas, cut grass, fruits and a hint of spice from some Sherry and wine cask maturation. Its first whisky release is 10-12 years away, so in the meantime the distillery is also making a different style of newmake for strategic partner, Macduff International.

  • Region
    Lowland
  • Production type
    Single malt
  • Distillery Status
    Working

InchDairnie History

After spending 40 years in the Scotch whisky industry (Invergordon, Glen Turner, Glen Moray, Starlaw), Ian Palmer foresaw significant growth in single malt leading to issues for blenders and brand owners looking for more security over their whisky supply. He saw a gap in the market for a distillery that could produce bulk single malt for these third party brands.

His vision for a £10 million, technologically advanced and energy efficient distillery that focuses on extracting maximum flavour, was soon backed by a private family investment group. A government grant of £1.7m plus an injection from Palmer’s own pocket got the project off the ground swiftly, and rather silently in industry terms.

In 2011, Palmer and his anonymous investors established John Fergus & Co as the holding company, and work began to build InchDairnie in 2014. Stills were ordered from Italian coppersmith, Frilli, and the entire project was complete in just 18 months. Distilling began at the site in December 2015, although its official launch was unveiled in May 2016.

Until its own single malt has matured for at least a decade, InchDairnie will provide fillings for Macduff International’s blends, which include Grand Macnish, Lauder’s and Islay Mist.

Palmer’s designs for the distillery include plans to expand at a later stage, in line with an anticipated growth in demand for single malt and blends, so InchDairnie can accommodate demand for fillings, as well as its own whisky.

Timeline

  • 2011 John Fergus & Co is established by Ian Palmer and a private investment group
  • 2014 Work begins on building InchDairnie distillery near Kinglassie in July
  • 2015 Come December, 18 months after construction began, the first spirit runs from InchDairnie's stills
  • 2016 The distillery is officially unveiled in May

InchDairnie Facts

  • Capacity (mlpa) i
    2
  • Condenser Type i
    Two shell and tube condensers per still.
  • Fermentation Time i
    60 hours
  • Grist Weight (t) i
    4
  • Heat Source i
    Steam
  • Malt Specification i
    Unpeated
  • Mash Tun Type i
    Mash conversion vessel and mash filter
  • New-make Strength i
    63.5
  • Spirit Still Size (l) i
    11,000
  • Stills i
    2
  • Warehousing i
    Palleted
  • Wash Still Size (l) i
    18,000
  • Washback Charge (l) i
    60,000
  • Washback Size (l) i
    80,000
  • Washback Type i
    Stainless steel
  • Washbacks i
    4
  • Water Source i
    Flowers of May and Goathill springs
  • Wort Clarity i
    Clear

Owner

John Fergus & Co. logo

Current owner

  • John Fergus & Co. 2011 - date

Contact

Address
Whitecraigs Road
Glenrothes
Fife
KY6 2RX
United Kingdom
Website
Visit Website
Phone
01592 210010
Email
Send Email
Visitor Opening Hours
Not open to the public

Map

See also

  • Glenrothes Glenrothes Glenrothes Distillery & brand

    Glenrothes

    Speyside vintage-focused distillery.

  • Allt-a-Bhainne Allt-a-Bhainne Allt-a-Bhainne Distillery & brand

    Allt-a-Bhainne

    Allt-a-Bhainne was built in 1975.

  • Daftmill Daftmill Daftmill Distillery

    Daftmill

    Small, family-run distillery in Fife.

  • Adelphi Distillery Adelphi Distillery Adelphi Distillery Independent bottler

    Adelphi Distillery

    Argyllshire and Fife indie operation.

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