InchDairnie debuts Scottish pot still whisky
Lowland distillery InchDairnie has ‘broken new ground’ for the Scotch industry by utilising the traditionally Irish method of pot still production for its latest whisky.
Fife-based InchDairnie has turned to pot still distillation for the latest whisky in its experimental PrinLaws Collection.
Described as a Scottish pot still whisky that has been inspired by the traditions of old pot still whiskey making in Ireland, the new expression is believed to be the first time this century that a distiller has produced a Scotch of this style.
InchDairnie founder Ian Palmer said: “While this style of whisky was once commonly produced in Scotland centuries ago, it has fallen out of favour in recent times, which is a real shame as there are some fascinating flavour characteristics to come from working with malted and unmalted grains of various types.
“We’ve bridged the traditions between Scotch and Irish whiskey to create a truly innovative whisky that I’m sure will delight drinkers in the years to come.”
The team at InchDairnie Distillery took their lead from the Irish definition, which is protected in law, to search for ‘interesting new flavours’.
The grains used in the expression include distillers’ malt from Canada (60%), unmalted barley (35%) from Balgonie Estate, and malted rye (5%), also from Balgonie.
Unusually for a pot still whisky, this expression has been double distilled rather than triple distilled.
The final spirit has been filled into first-fill Bourbon barrels for maturation in the distillery’s warehouses.
“Our three ‘Ms’ philosophy – materials, method and maturation – is deeply rooted in this latest experimentation,” said Scott Snedden, distillery manager.
“We’ve kept to a double distillation as is tradition in Scotland, and we can’t use enzymes to improve sugar conversion, unlike in Ireland. While we need to wait for the results of years of maturation in our ex-Bourbon casks, we anticipate a more complex, spicy, oily whisky than what you’d expect in an Irish pot still whiskey.”
This 2023 PrinLaws Collection follows experimental distillations of wheated whisky (2022) and a sour mash bill (2021).
This week, Slane co-founder Alex Conyngham told us why he thinks pot still whiskey is the category to watch in the Irish whiskey sector.