"‘I’VE always been brought up to think that disability is not an obstacle to doing anything. All these opportunities are still out there. You might need to find a workaround, but there’s nothing you can’t actually do. My attitude has always just been to find a way.”

Aedan Burt was just two when he was in a life-changing car accident that left him paralysed from the neck down, unable to breathe for himself.

Since that day, he has needed full-time care and purpose-built homes to meet his needs.

But the 29-year-old has never been one to rue the cards he has been dealt or, as he put it, lie down and be told “no”.

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“Whenever I’m in a position where something is difficult, my attitude has always just been to find a way,” Burt told the Sunday National.

“It might just be complicated or annoying, but it’s possible if you just look for a solution.

“I’m not one to lie down and be told no. There’s always a workaround.”

Since his first year at the University of St Andrews, Burt has developed a growing passion for whisky, which he partly puts down to his late brother Calum’s love of Talisker.

Following Calum’s tragic death in 2012 as a result of another accident, he felt compelled to find out more about the wonders of Scotland’s most famous spirit.

A quiet intrigue eventually blossomed into a full-blown obsession, and he was not about to let his disability get in the way of his dream of one day owning a distillery.

The National: ‘We care about sharing this magic of whisky’

With distilleries costing millions to set up, Burt was all too aware it was an expensive dream, but he has now made the first steps to reaching it with the recent launch of his own independent bottling company, Fib Whisky. It was perhaps obvious from the first moment he began delving into drams with the University of St Andrews’s Whisky Society that nothing or nobody was ever going to stop him from exploring the magic of malt.

“The venue [where the society met] was an upstairs function room in a hotel, and it had a barely functional lift, so I couldn’t actually get up to the tasting,” said Burt.

“So at the first tasting they just gave me some sample bottles and what I would end up doing – because they never changed the venue until I got involved in the committee a few years later – is I would pop to the bar downstairs with my laptop and Zoom in and have a wee chat with the brand ambassador later on.

“We were getting a really good range of drams, there were so many flavours and brands that I just fell in love with the variety and the culture.”

A little perseverance certainly does go a long way, with Burt and his lifelong friend Iain Mundy – head of sales, property and production – now selling Fib’s initial range from their own website and in whisky shops across Fife.

The pro-independence pair have enjoyed whisky together since their teens, with one of their most treasured memories being when they poured their own bottle of Bowmore straight from a cask, which is now being saved for when Scotland breaks free from the Union.

The National: ‘We care about sharing this magic of whisky’

As an independent bottler, Fib has bought eight select single casks from distilleries across Scotland and bottled them straight from the barrel – in contrast to mainstream distilleries which will mix many casks together to create a consistent flavour and water it down to around 40% ABV.

But what makes Fib different from the dozens of other independent bottlers across the country is it is also finishing half of each cask in either wine, brandy or sherry casks to entirely change the taste for its second release, so whisky enthusiasts can try both and compare the characteristics.

Mundy said it was one of a few ways in which Fib has tried to set itself apart in a competitive industry.

He said: “I don’t think there are many companies out there where you can try the same single cask of whisky before and after a finish.

“There are a few different things that make Fib special. As the Fife whisky company we try and do everything in Fife as much as we can – we store our casks there and we have our labels printed there.

“The other aspect is our Pictish beastie on the bottle as well as our Pictish line writing on the bottle, also known as ogham.

“Aedan is keen on the Picts, due to his late father Jack’s interest in them, and the company is named after King Fib who is the mythological Pictish king of Fife.”

Burt said one of his favourite things about whisky is the social element of it, and he hopes the playful and creative approach Fib has taken will spark the sorts of conversations about drams he loves.

“I just love getting together and talking over a dram, about the dram, and I love the friendly nature of everyone in the industry,” he added.

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“I also love the amount of things you can do to play with the spirit, as we’re doing now with our finishing range.

“Financially, if you don’t bottle the whole barrel, you don’t see the other half of the profit until much later which most companies don’t like.

“So what we’re doing is a lot more costly and more time consuming but we care about sharing this magic of whisky with people.”

The pages of Fib’s story are now ready to be filled with, hopefully, many exciting chapters. While we wait to see how the journey unfolds, Burt said he was grateful to have finally completed the preface to it.

“We were a very academic family and, if it hadn’t been for the accident, I probably would’ve applied to Oxbridge,” said Burt.

“But if I’d ended up anywhere except St Andrews, I wouldn’t have fallen in with the society and I wouldn’t have got into whisky at the time, so I probably wouldn’t be here doing Fib without the cards I’ve been dealt.

“In some ways, I’m thankful for it.”