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Toast to tradition: Scottish cathedral marks 800th anniversary with special malt whisky

by Kelly Valencia

To commemorate the 800th anniversary of the laying of the first foundation stones of Dornoch Cathedral, a unique cask of malt whisky has been filled.

Dubbed 'Cathedral Spirit,' this special whisky will be set aside on 1st April, St Gilbert's Day, and aged for 15 years in storage.

Scheduled to be uncorked and bottled in 2039, it will coincide with the 800th anniversary of worship services commencing at Scotland's smallest operational cathedral.

Profits from the sale of bottles will be put towards the upkeep of the building, which has three stained glass windows, donated in memory of the Scottish/American industrialist Andrew Carnegie, who often holidayed at his Skibo estate nearby.

Rt Rev Sally-Foster-Fulton, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, is expected to visit Dornoch Distillery to observe the cask being put aside.

Dornoch Cathedral's history is marked by turmoil, including a devastating fire in 1570 and desecration of Gilbert's tomb during a clan feud between the Murrays of Dornoch and the Mackays of Strathnaver.

Though nearly razed, the cathedral's chancel and transept walls survived and underwent partial restoration in 1616, followed by full restoration between 1835 and 1837.

Despite now serving as a Presbyterian church, the cathedral retains its title as a reminder of its historical significance as a bishop's seat.


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