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Thu 26 May 16

Technology and innovation is key to InchDairnie Distillery's quest for flavour

InchDairnie Distillery, an ingenious new-look malt whisky distillery, was unveiled today, Tuesday 17th May, in Fife, Scotland.

From its striking contemporary architecture and deep grey colour, to a meticulously designed whisky-making process based on five flavour innovations, InchDairnie Distillery is taking a bold, forward-thinking approach to producing Scotch malt whisky, while remaining respectful of tradition.

Founded by whisky industry veteran, Ian Palmer, the distillery is located in the outskirts of Kinglassie, Fife. The build took around 18 months and it will produce two million litres of whisky in its first year and as such, it steps away from the recent surge in 'micro' distilleries.

The distillery, which has created 10 new jobs, uses numerous efficient production methods, all designed to enhance its quest to innovate with flavour, and allowing InchDairnie to reduce waste and save energy.
Over the coming years, InchDairnie Distillery will focus on laying down stock for the future and the creation of its first InchDairnie Single Malt Scotch whisky, which is expected to be available to consumers around 2029. In addition, the distillery will make a malt for blending to sell to other distillers such as its strategic partner MacDuff International.

"We are fortunate not to be under any commercial pressure to release our whisky so we will wait until the whisky is at its absolute best, which could be in 10, 12 or 15 years time, only time will tell." said Ian Palmer.

Five flavour innovations

The distillery building is contemporary both inside and out; its dark colour and sharp, angular design is symbolic of its forward-thinking approach to traditional whisky-making.
Inside, the distillery incorporates five flavour innovations that, when combined, create a completely unique flavour:
1. Seasonal barley – the rare use of winter barley, as well as more traditional spring barley
2. Mash conversion techniques – using an unconventional mash filter and hammer mill, a combination which is very rare in Scottish distilling
3. Unique yeast recipe – the blend of yeast strains used is unique to InchDairnie Distillery
4. High gravity fermentation – higher than normal gravities allow for a more flavoursome spirit
5. Bespoke stills with double condensers – distinct still shape and double condensers ensures more copper contact and helps create a unique flavour profile. It's believed to be the only distillery to use double condensers.

House style

InchDairnie Distillery uses local Fife barley and water in creating what will be a full-bodied and complex whisky with a slightly sweet edge, in contrast to the traditional 'Lowland' style.
InchDairnie Distillery has been developed by Palmer, who has almost 40 years experience in the whisky industry: "InchDairnie is the culmination of a dream and everything I've learnt about whisky-making over the last four decades.

"I'm hugely respectful of whisky-making traditions, but at InchDairnie our vision is to use technical expertise to capture and nurture all of the flavours from the whisky-making process.
"That's why, alongside traditional ingredients such as water, malted barley and yeast, technology and innovation will be important ingredients in our whisky. The contemporary look of the distillery is designed to reflect our approach.

"A great deal of our time and investment has been focused on ensuring that every piece of equipment and every step of the whisky-making process has been thoroughly researched and fine-tuned to create the best possible spirit."

The distillery will be focusing on making whisky over the next few years, so there are no plans for a visitor centre.

Image Credit: Rob McDougall

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