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2 minute read

Work starts on new £12m Scotch whisky distillery

Work has begun on a new £12m Scotch whisky distillery, which is set to become a tourist landmark for Scotland’s capital.

Foundations have been laid for The Port of Leith Distillery – Scotland’s first vertical distillery – which will rise 40 metres above the quayside, a stone’s throw from the Royal Yacht Britannia.

The flagship distillery – due to open in 2022 – will feature a top floor double height whisky bar, with views to Edinburgh Castle, two copper stills and the capacity to produce up to one million bottles of single malt a year.

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Work has begun on a new £12m Scotch whisky distillery, Scotland’s first vertical distillery / Picture: Port of Leith Distillery


The £12m project is funded by a range of international private investors and whisky fans, including two unnamed drinks industry CEOs, and is being built by specialist Scottish firms including constructors Colorado Group (which built Raasay and Kingsbarns distilleries) and process engineers Allen Associates. The mash tuns and tanks will be supplied by Drummuir-based LH Stainless, whilst the copper stills are already being hand-crafted by the Speyside Copper Works in Elgin.

The project is the brainchild of friends and distillery co-founders Patrick Fletcher and Ian Stirling.

Ian said: “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. It began ten years ago as a mad idea over a dram when we were working together in London and it grew from there.

“The catalyst was finding the location – we were approached by site owners Ocean Terminal and we could immediately see the potential. The site is not big – around a third of an acre – but the location is phenomenal, and we worked closely with Threesixty Architecture in Glasgow to develop the design.”

Once opened in 2022, the distillery will have the capacity to produce up to one million bottles of single malt per year / Picture: Port of Leith Distillery


The distillery is supporting more than 30 jobs during construction – including six staff in the distillery team – and will create around 50 long-term jobs once complete.

Ian 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.”

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