Copper Stills, Gin Bottles, Coffee and Cake
This review is especially helpful for those who have or use the following: Long Cane, Powerchair
Being used to the more traditional style of distillery we weren't too sure quite what to expect. What we discovered was an oasis of excitment to stimulate the nasal passages, the taste buds and the understanding of why whisky is so important to Scotland. If you then add in a lovely cafe with an 'oh so tempting' menu, great staff to guide you, and a beautiful countryside setting you have the makings of a five star visit!
Transport & Parking
We drove to the Distillery from St Andrews and it was a fairly quick run. The distillery nestles deep in the estate and a long scenic drive meanders its way to the car park. Two prominent accessible parking bay signs depict the parking spaces. Only a 50 metre walk from there along the hard surfaces pathway and you are in the visitor centre.
We loved visiting the distillery as this was one of the rare places that you could become so absorbed in the visit that you forgot about the day to day perils of being a wheelchair user or have a sight impairment. Those bits were all covered off with a platform lift to get to the stills, a lift to go up to the tasting room. The guide leading the way and explaining the stories of the whisky process and the exhibits to hand. Be it a sniff of the horns to capture a whisky aroma, a peek into the doocot to see a precious barrel or a stroll up to the Gin Cottage to see the marvels of gin production. The visit started on an excellent footing as the doors were swung open and a warm welcome as we were greeted by a guide. A clear explanation of what was to be seen and the layout set us up for a good visit. We ventured off on a tour and were soon captivated by the stories, sights and smells. Unusually, this was not a glimpse from the distance to see the beauty of the copper stills as a sizeable platform lift took me and my chair up to see the whisky process up close, from big mash tuns, to the stills and the slow flowing of the heads of the spirit I got to see it all. A short distance away we entered the blending room / tasting room where a wee dram could be sampled - driving as I was I opted to take away my dram for later! The distillery had a surprise in store for us as we expected the whisky side of things but were delighted to be able to go to the adjacent 'Gin Cottage' - literally what it says - a cottage carefully converted to house the gin production. The gin distilling and the copper was fascinating and whilst being a tool was indeed a work of art. Here too was an opportunity for a tasting; so one more sample to take away. Our tour ended in the spacious shop where there were lots of bottles and associated gifts and wares to purchase. From here we couldn't resist the temptation of the cafe. Very spacious with moveable furniture and the option of a patio we settled for coffee and admired the 'oh so tempting' menu!
The accessible toilets, yes - that's plural - were all very good. The 'Gin Cottage' particularly so with an enormous space. Like all the doors throughtout the complex; nice wide entrances and lots of space. Bright, light and spotlessly clean.
We can only award five stars but this is one of those rare ocassions where we give 10/10 - the welcome we recieved on arrival was fabulous - warm, friendly and informative. Our guide was superb and we were made to 'feel at home'; if you can say that about a distilley! Our questions were answered, we didn't feel hurried and we thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Equally, all the other staff we met had that same welcoming appoach and enthusiam for the Distillery.
Anything else you wish to tell us?
We arrived as doubting visitors and left as ambassadors! If you find yourself in this beautiful part of Fife then a visit to Kingsbarns Distillery is a must!