Lindores Abbey Distillery

Or at least, their whisky. I visited the place in spring, at which point a sizeable bottle share with a tasting to accompany said share could not not happen. Of course, writing actual tasting notes for the drams themselves takes far longer, because I am a lazy sob.

Eventually, namely last weekend, I sat down to taste the four bottles I had picked up for the tasting. The 1494 (or MCDMDMASALKJDLKASJLF in Roman numerals) was tried earlier, when still in Scotland, as was the Aqua Vitae.

I’m not going to write about the distillery itself, because that’s going to be a thing at another time. Let’s dive in!

Lindores Abbey Aqua Vitae, 40%

Image from Master of Malt

There are lots of herbs and spices, on a fruity and sweet backdrop. I’ve got a hard time pinpointing things, but there certainly is some apple and honey. It also reminds me of Myrthe, in style and herbaceousness.

A very gentle palate, very similar to the nose. There still is a honeyed sweetness, but the herbs make it slightly more bitter, with more twig like notes.

No rating, since I have nothing to compare this to. It’s too strong for a liqueur, and there are far too many ingredients to be in the vicinity of whisky… Still, it’s an interesting drink. More a gimmick than a product to appease the whisky fanatics.

Lindores Abbey MCDXCIV, 46%

Image from Whiskybase

A young, but farely complex note. A definite layer of bourbon cask influence, but subtle notes of sherry spices and dark wood. The whisky has a floral and lightly fruity background. Gorse, apple, very ‘local’ to the distillery.

The palate is a tad sharper than I expected. A touch of black pepper and chilli spices. Some syrupy sweetness, a bit of vanilla, straw, dried flowers. Dried apple, apple pie, the coconut-y thing Gorse smells like.

The finish brings the young spirit back to the front. A bit new-make like. Less sweet and more floral and ‘green’.

I rather like this stuff. The floral notes are nice and not too common, nowadays. It’s not overly complex, but it is quite a bit better than a lot of new-distillery-output that I come across.


Lindores Abbey, Casks of Lindores, Bourbon casks, 49.4%

Image from Whiskybase

Young, with quite a lot of straw and apples. Very orchard-like, with dry leaves and twigs and such. Quite boozy and, surprisingly cognac-y, somehow.

A bit of bite, straw, dry apples, grass. Dry, fresh and slightly autumnal.

The finish is more dry. More straw and dry apple, a whiff of bitterness.

A very decent young whisky with quite some cask and distillery character. A tad simple with not too many layers to peel back, but it’s a nice indicator of the direction they want to go in.


Lindores Abbey, Casks of Lindores, STR wine barriques, 49.4%

Image from Whiskybase

The wine cask is quite obvious. There’s still fruit, but it’s not the orchard stuff like the bourbon cask. It’s also not the dried fruits from a sherry cask. It’s different, more grapes and fermentation and such. There is a crisp scent too, fresh fruits, maybe a sangria thingy?

The palate is quite fierce and almost tastes like light red wine on steroids. Lots of grape flavors, wine flavors, some oak. Tannines, grape skins. Grape seeds for a touch of bitterness. Not very whisky like.

The finish continues down the same road. Some fruit, some bitterness, some wood driven flavors.

Not very complex at all, but much better than when I had it earlier… During the tasting we weren’t thrilled with this, and while I’m still not over the moon it’s far from a bad whisky.


Lindores Abbey 2018, Exclusive Cask for The Netherlands, Sherry Butt 18/577, 59.1%

Image from Whiskybase

A cloyingly sweet sherry, with date puree and plum flesh. There’s a yeasty, chocolatey thing going on. Vegemite like, maybe?

A very syrupy texture that mitigates the fierce ABV somewhat. Still there’s quite some alcoholic bite to it. Date puree again, with plum flesh. Very PX-y, but with a LOT more alcohol, and some oak. There’s some straw in the background but otherwise not much whisky to be detected.

Same as on the palate, with a little bit of a sulfur note to it.

This is the style I refered too earlier, with there being far too much wood influence. It’s a bit like Annandale is releasing their stuff. The distillery character is completely obliterated. It’s just sherry on steroids, with no whisky references to speak of. While that’s not too bad a drink in itself, it doesn’t leave much to be discovered.


Lindores Abbey 2018, Exclusive Cask for The Netherlands, Bourbon cask 18/408, 60.2%

Image from Whiskybase

A very clean and light nose of bourbon matured spirit. Not a lot of depth (it being three years old and all). Straw, barley, a touch of coconut and lemon.

This bites! Even after the last ond this one is incredibly hot. Lot of white pepper and chili, a whiff of oak. Some simple syrup, a bit of vanilla, coconut and candied lemon.

There’s a note of glue on the finish which diminishes the dram a bit. The heat remains a little bit. Candied lemon, some apple and straw.

The ABV is in the way of the flavor. The whisky is insanely sharp and while that can be an interesting experience, it’s just too much. So far, the bourbon one at 49.4% was a lot better.


So, five whiskies and something else in, I still don’t really know what the angle is. The MCDXCIV seems to be a bit more at the core of what they’re trying to do and that’s actually a rather nice, albeit young whisky. The bourbon matured version leave some room for the distillery character to develop, bt that insanely sharp stuff is not something I’ll be going for anytime soon.

A short side note: The ‘Casks of Lindores’ were supposed to be exclusives to the independent stores in the UK, according to the tour guide we had. A sort of thank you for helping them out when they were still building fame. Strangely, they’re widely available now, so that does feel like a bit of a rip off if you scouted them out based on this premise…


About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm very interested in booze, with a focus on whisky. I like to listen to loads of music and play lots of Magic: the Gathering, and board games too. I'm married to Anneke, have two daughters Ot and Cato, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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