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Lindores Abbey recruits former Cragganmore manager

Lindores Abbey Distillery in Fife has made three key appointments ahead of its opening, including the recruitment of Cragganmore’s former distillery manager Gary Haggart.

L-R: David Whitelaw; Drew McKenzie Smith; Gary Haggart; Andy Cant

Haggart – who was most recently distillery manager for Diageo’s Cragganmore Distillery in Speyside and previously worked for Bacardi-owned whisky business Dewar’s – has been named distillery manager of Lindores Abbey.

Andy Cant – who was previously manager of Diageo’s Cardhu Group, which includes Cardhu, Cragganmore, Knockando and Dailuaine distilleries, and the group’s Islay business – has been brought on board as Lindores Abbey’s whisky consultant. A Scotch whisky veteran of 40 years, Cant is now retired.

Plumber and gas engineer David Whitlaw has been hired as Lindores Abbey’s assistant stillman.

“As the first distiller at Lindores Abbey in more than 500 years my priority is to get the distillery up and running and for us to produce a constant and consistent quality of spirit here,” said Haggart.

“Then we can move into experimentation and explore the possibilities for innovation, just like the founding Tironensian monks would have done. I want the Lindores Abbey Distillery spirit to be known throughout the industry and around the world. That’s what this unique place deserves.”

Lindores Abbey is known as the ‘spiritual home’ of Scotch whisky, with distilling roots that can be traced back to 1494 when the malt duty paid by Friar John Cor was logged in the Exchequer Roll.

Plans for the distillery, which is currently under construction, were assisted by the late whisky consultant Dr Jim Swan.

“We are very proud to unveil the Lindores Abbey Distillery team today, celebrating the breadth of experience and talent they will bring to the Lindores Abbey Distillery spirit production this summer,” said Drew McKenzie Smith, founder of Lindores Abbey Distillery.

“Whisky consultant Andy Cant, distillery manager Gary Haggart and stillman David Whitelaw will each bring their own passion and skill to the quality, consistency and aspirations we have for the first spirit to flow in 500 years at the birthplace of Scotch whisky.

“The team will, of course, be inspired by the foundations laid by the late Jim Swan, who worked closely with us in our vision for Lindores Abbey for many years.”

Lindores Abbey Distillery is set to open on 1 August 2017. Earlier this year, the distillery opened sales for its Preservation Society, which will offer members the chance to win one of its first Scotch whisky casks.

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