Medieval whisky still discovered at Scottish abbey may be the world’s oldest


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A medieval construction, believed to be one of many world’s oldest whisky stills, has been found among the many ruins of a Scottish abbey.

Archaeologists uncovered the construction on the website of Lindores Abbey in Fife, noting that it’s in keeping with medieval kilns. Residue found inside it’s stated to be consistent with medieval brewing and distilling practices. Traces of charcoal, barley, oats, wheat and pottery dated again to medieval occasions have been discovered on the construction.

The Abbey was based in 1191 on land given by King William I of Scotland to his brother, the Earl of Huntingdon. Scottish knight William Wallace, whose life was famously depicted within the Hollywood film “Braveheart,” took refuge on the abbey after combating the English on the Battle of Black Earnside in 1298.


Whisky distilling on the website dates again to 1494, based on the Exchequer Rolls of King James IV of Scotland, marking the primary written file of Scotch whisky distillation. A contemporary distillery stands close to the positioning of the abbey.

Archaeologists uncovered the construction on the website of Lindores Abbey in Fife, Scotland.
(Nick McGowan Lowe)

Consultants are thrilled by the invention of the whisky nonetheless.

“It’s onerous to overestimate the potential significance of this discovery,” stated Lindores Abbey Distillery Founder and Managing Director Drew McKenzie Smith, in an announcement. “Many indicators level in direction of this being one of many earliest stills ever found, and that is nearly actually the positioning referenced within the Exchequer Rolls of 1494 that embody the primary ever written file of aqua vitae or whisky, as we all know it as we speak.”


Traces of charcoal, barley, oats, wheat and pottery that date again to medieval occasions have been discovered on the construction. At the moment, the abbey’s monks had been beginning to distill their “bols of malt,” which we now know as Scotch whiskey. The construction believed to be a whisky nonetheless was found subsequent to the abbey’s grain retailer.

“Lindores Abbey has lengthy been thought-about the religious dwelling of Scotch whisky, and this discovery underlines the historic significance of this website,” stated McKenzie Smith, within the assertion.

The nonetheless is the most recent fascinating historic discover in Scotland. Earlier this 12 months, for instance, archaeologists on a distant Scottish island discovered a stone anvil from the mysterious historic Pictish individuals.


Elsewhere in Scotland, archaeologists have additionally been making spectacular finds. For instance, a treasure trove of historic artifacts was found earlier this 12 months at a fort that archaeologists imagine was razed to the bottom by Vikings. Consultants on the College of Aberdeen made the exceptional finds at Burghead on Scotland’s northern Moray coast. The fort, which was as soon as utilized by the Picts, is described as the biggest of its variety in Scotland.

Final 12 months, archaeologists and volunteers additionally discovered the placement of a long-lost early medieval kingdom in southern Scotland.

In 2014, a shocking hoard of historic silver, believed to have been used as bribes by Romans, was found with a steel detector by a teen in Dairsie, within the Scottish area of Fife.

Consultants in Scotland have additionally used Three-D know-how to reconstruct the face of an 18th-century ‘witch.’

Observe James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers

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