Construction of The Port of Leith Distillery in Edinburgh, Scotland has officially begun. Building was originally set to begin earlier this year, but was delayed due to the pandemic.
The forthcoming distillery was founded by Ian Stirling and Patrick Fletcher and is the first distillery set to be built in the city’s port district in over a century. After two years of delays, the new $16 million distillery is expected to open in 2022.
“We have always been passionate about whisky and it’s been a long-held dream for us to create an amazing, modern Scotch whisky distillery in our home city,” said Stirling. “It began 10 years ago as a mad idea over a dram when we were working together in London and it grew from there.”
Stirling added, “Our ambition is to create an outstanding new style of Scotch using a modern approach, based on years of research we have already undertaken – and building on the remarkable heritage of the historic whisky district of Leith.”
The Port of Leith Distillery will be built in Edinburgh’s port district next to Ocean Terminal Shopping Centre and The Royal Yacht Britannia. It will feature a Whisky bar on the top floor with views of Edinburgh Castle as well as two copper stills with the capacity to produce up to one million bottles of single malt Whisky annually.
The $16 million project has been funded by global private investors and whisky fans, including two unnamed drinks industry CEOs. The distillery is expected to provide 50 long-term jobs for the area once completed.
In November 2018, The Port of Leith Distillery launched its inaugural spirit, Lind and Lime Gin. Currently, the Edinburgh port-based brand makes its range, which also includes Sherry and Port, at Tower Street Stillhouse in Leith.
“Lockdown had an impact on our build programme and of course has made us look hard at our tourism projections, but in contrast Lind & Lime online [sales] has flourished,” said Fletcher. “It has been really important for us to learn how to make and market our own spirit and build relationships with suppliers. Our Sherry comes from Bodegas Baron – a 480-year-old family business in the heart of Jerez, and we will use their barrels to mature our own whisky, when the time comes.”