• Tours will take place at 5.30pm, 6.30pm and 7.30pm
• It's Scotland's newest distillery, which opened in December
KINGSBARNS DISTILLERY | THE OPEN
After a day at the Open Championship at St Andrews next month, there’ll be no better way to top it off than enjoying a ‘19th Hole Tour’ around Scotland’s newest distillery.
Less than ten miles from the Old Course, where the world’s best will be battling it out for the Claret Jug, Kingsbarns Distillery are offering evening tours of their recently-opened site, which is situated in the heart of the beautiful Cambo Estate and partially overlooks the world-renowned Kingsbarns Golf Links.
Opened in December last year, the distillery was the brainchild of now founding director and visitor centre manager Douglas Clement who, as a long-time caddie at Kingsbarns Golf Links, was disheartened at turning visiting golfers away from Fife if they wanted to go to a distillery.
"I decided that there was a gap in the market for a small whisky distillery" - Douglas Clement
“I was inspired to create the distillery way back in 2008 because my golfers would ask me ‘Doug, where can I visit a distillery after my round?’” he explained. “Of course, my answer would always be ‘no, sorry, there’s nothing near St Andrews or the Fife area and you have to drive 90 minutes away’.
“Generally, the reaction to that wasn’t positive so I decided that there was a gap in the market for a small whisky distillery with a visitor centre near to the Home of Golf to really capitalise on all the golf tourists that come to St Andrews and the surrounding area.”
After years of pitching his idea to small investors with no success, Douglas eventually received a £670,000 grant from the Scottish government before the Wemyss family dynasty – who own bottling business Wemyss Malts – weighed in with £3million of their own to transform the East Newhall Farm site.
And what a transformation it has been. The distillery tour begins with an introduction on how the site became what it is today, a brief history on the village of Kingsbarns and the region itself before a five-minute video clip emphasises the importance to the distillery of locally-sourced barley and other products.
The farming history isn’t lost either. You can guess the type of whisky through scented cow horns in the part of the building which was an old steading, while an old doocot has been restored impressively and contains the first ever cask of single malt Kingsbarns Distillery whisky, which will be ready in 2018.
A guided tour then follows through the distillery itself and afterwards, it’s tasting time in a lounge area where pictures of Kingsbarns Golf Links adorn the walls. From there, it’s into the shop, where gin and wine can be found – so not just whisky – while the adjoining café is open to members of the public every day.
Adding more detail to the distillery’s plans for the Open, Douglas said: “We’ve been told by local tourism businesses that during the day, people like to be at the golf so the time where we can really offer something or where we might get a lot of visitors is during the evenings, so our ‘19th Hole Tours’ will take place at 5.30pm, 6.30pm and 7.30pm with the distillery closing at 9pm.
“However, an equally, if not more exciting thing, is that we’ve hired one of the world’s best sand sculptors, and he’s coming to create an array of golf and whisky-related sculptures down on the West Sands beach.
“Hopefully everyone will see the sand sculptures – we’re going to do the R&A clubhouse, the Swilcan Bridge, the Claret Jug, maybe one of Seve, some whisky barrels – a whole array of stuff and hopefully some of the people visiting the golf will come and see some of these magical creations.”
Kingsbarns Distillery :: Book a tour
For more information and to book a tour of Kingsbarns Distillery, visit http://www.kingsbarnsdistillery.com or call 01333 451300.