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Lindores Abbey and Friar, John Cor

The first written record of Scottish whisky can be found on some parchment made from calfskin that forms a 1491 Exchequer Roll.
This is now stored in the General Resister House in Edinburgh.
From the famous phase, "Friar John Cor of Lindores Abbey being granted (eight bolls of malt wherewith to make acqua vitae) by King James IV", we can see that monks at abbeys were granted the King's commission to distill "acqua vitae" (whisky). From ancient time, monks had brewed ales there so it was easy for them to distill whisky if they had equipment for distillation.
You could imagine that famers used to distill acua vitae before this record. However, according to the written record, Lindores Abbey is the earliest distillery and friar John Cor is the man who made the first "acqua vitae".
view of Lindores

The remains of Lindores Abbey are situated on the outskirts of Newburgh in Fife. Newburgh is a small town on the south coast of the Firth of Tay, eight miles east of the M90. There are many attractive shops along its main street including a bakery, pubs and hotels.


The remains are now part of a private garden and stand on about one acre land, surrounded by walls. It is well maintained, and you can see about twenty walls, arches and the building foundations.

Unfortunately, the owner was absent when I visited there. However, I met someone near the garden who happened to be a friend of the owner, and who guided me around the garden.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank her for his kindness.
Sadaaki (Teimei) Horiuchi


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