A DISTILLERY in Fife has begun producing what is believed to be Scotland’s first rye whisky for more then a century.

InchDairnie Distillery’s first release, Ryelaw, combines a high proportion of malted rye, the key component in American rye whiskey, and malted barley, the key ingredient in Scotch.

It is being distilled at the Glenrothes distillery from this weekend and will be matured in new American oak casks.

The combination of malted rye and fresh wood is designed to create a distinctive take on rye whisky’s full spicy flavour. Ryelaw’s creation has been a year in the making. It was inspired by a discovery made by InchDairnie’s managing director Ian Palmer that rye was used in Scotch whisky production in the past.

When it is released, Ryelaw will become part of the core range at the distillery, which opened in May last year. It will include other innovative whiskies, and an InchDairnie single malt, which is expected to be available in around 2029.

Palmer said: “Our intention from the start was to push the boundaries of flavour in whisky, using a combination of our experience and new technology while remaining true to whisky’s traditions.

“Creating this ‘rye whisky’ is one of many experimental ideas we had in mind. We’ve spent a year researching and developing this and we’re incredibly excited to be ready to start distilling.

While it can be described in general terms as a rye whisky, regulations dictate that Ryelaw will be categorised officially as a single grain Scotch made using malted rye.