Kingsbarns

The kingdom of Fife has proven fertile breeding ground for an extraordinary crop of new Lowland distilleries that has flowered in recent years. The Kingsbarns project was among the first of the new wave of Fife distilleries.

Founded:...

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The kingdom of Fife has proven fertile breeding ground for an extraordinary crop of new Lowland distilleries that has flowered in recent years. The Kingsbarns project was among the first of the new wave of Fife distilleries.

Founded: 2014

Stills: 1 Wash 1 Spirit

Capacity: 600,000 Litres

Owners: Wemyss Distillery Ltd

Kingsbarns distillery was the brainchild of Douglas Clement, a former caddie at the Kingsbarns championship golf course near St. Andrews. Intrigued that the home of golf had no working distillery nearby for his whisky-loving patrons to visit - the only option within 50 miles was Daftmill, which is conspicuous among new distilleries for its lack of a visitor centre - Clement began seeking investment for a new distillery.

Clement soon found a site for his project - a near-derelict farmstead a few miles east of St. Andrews - and began trying to raise funding for the development.  Distillery designs were drafted in 2008, but with fundraising initially limited to early investment from Clement’s golfing clients, planning permission was not obtained for the distillery until 2011.  

Thankfully, this crucial breakthrough enabled the project to win a development grant of over £600k from the Scottish government in early 2012, but the rest of the required capital to get the distillery built was proving very difficult to find. 

At the beginning of 2013, Clement sold the Kingsbarns project to the Wemyss family (of Wemyss Malts) who provided the necessary resources to guarantee the distillery’s construction. Restoration and building work on the farmstead began within six months of the Wemyss acquisition and the distillery was completed in 2014, opening to the public on 1st December. Clement remained as Kingsbarns founding director and visitor centre manager before moving on to other projects in 2017.

Whisky production began at Kingsbarns in early 2015 and the distillery’s first single malt was a limited investor-only Founders Reserve edition which appeared at the end of 2018.

Kingsbarns’ first general sale whisky, Kingsbarns Dream to Dram, was released in early 2019 and has since been joined by other core range expressions including the sherried Balcomie edition and a cask strength Family Reserve. 

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