SCOTLAND’S newest whisky distillery is eschewing the recent trend for craft Scotch, with an aim to produce two million litres in its first year.

InchDairnie Distillery, on the outskirts of Kinglassie, Fife was founded by Ian Palmer, a man with 40 years’ experience in the whisky industry.

Mr Palmer’s goal is to create a contemporary lowland single malt Scotch whisky that will sell for around the £50 mark, putting it firmly in the premium sector for export, though there are no plans to sell it whisky in Scotland.

“We want to press into international markets, northern Europe, North and South America and the Far East,” said Mr Palmer. “That’s where we see potential for the product.”

With the company’s inaugural launch set to mature for an expected 12 years, the distillery will derive its revenues from a supply deal with Macduff International, a distributor of blended Scotch whiskies.

Unlike a number of new distilleries, such as Arbikie or Eden Mill, InchDairnie has no plans to release white spirits such as gin or vodka while its whisky matures. Instead, InchDairnie will produce three different blended whiskies for Macduff.

“The distillery wouldn’t have been possible without the Macduff deal,” said Mr Palmer. “It made it a viable business and provides us with a cushion to make the right decisions before launching our malt. We’ve been able to take the time to get everything right.”

The distillery, which is owned by Mr Palmer and Danish drinks business Copenhagen Fortuna, through the John Fergus & Co business, was set up with an estimated investment of £7.5 million, and in addition to its relatively large production capacity, there is warehousing facilities for 200,000 casks.

Architecture became a major factor in the distillery, with its design very much making a statement about its owners’ intentions.

“We wanted to break from the traditional look of a Scotch distillery, to tell the world that we were new and modern,” said Mr Palmer.

The distillery, which created ten new jobs in the area, has been designed with a modern feel inside and out. Mr Palmer said its sharp angular design is symbolic of the distillery’s contemporary approach, but added that the “building just keeps the rain off, it’s the equipment that’s important”.

Inside, a host of efficient production methods have been designed to enhance flavour, reduce waste and save energy.

An unconventional mash filter and hammer mill has been installed in place of a traditional mash tun, and the pot stills have two condensers instead of the usual one.

“We have to mill the grist very fine to get it through the mash filter which creates a lot of esters,” said Mr Palmer. “That means the filter extracts more flavour from the barley. And the double condensers in the stills means the liquid has more contact with the copper, giving it a fresh, sharp flavour.”

The distillery also uses high gravity fermentation and a bespoke yeast recipe.

That flavour is described by Mr Palmer as “a walk in the garden, there’s lot of floral notes and fresh grass in there,” he said.

“InchDairnie is the culmination of a dream and everything I’ve learnt about whisky-making over the last four decades,” said Mr Palmer. “I’m hugely respectful of whisky-making traditions, but our vision is to use technical expertise to capture and nurture all of the flavours from the whisky-making process.”

InchDairnie uses local Fife barley and water to create its whisky and although Mr Palmer has stated his intention for the first InchDairnie launch to be a 12 year old, he said that ultimately it would depend on the quality of the liquid in the cask.

“We’re aiming for a 12 year old, but that could be ten if we think the whisky is right, or it could be even older,” he said. “The way the business has been set up, we can be patient and make sure that we get everything right. A great deal of our time and investment has been focused on ensuring that every piece of equipment and every step of the whisky-making process has been thoroughly researched and fine-tuned to create the best possible spirit.”