Port of Leith Distillery

Port of Leith Distillery

The company behind the proposed Port of Leith Distillery in Scotland has submitted a planning application for the construction of the £5 million (US$6.6m)‎ site to the City of Edinburgh Council.  If the plans are approved, Muckle Brig Limited – founded by entrepreneurs and friends Ian Stirling and Patrick Fletcher – will commence construction on the site at the beginning of 2018, with doors slated to open in spring 2019.

Based in Edinburgh’s port district, beside The Royal Yacht Britannia and the Ocean Terminal Shopping Centre; the site will be the first purpose-built single malt distillery in the city for more than a century.

The single malt distillery plans to eventually produce 400,000 lpa (litres of pure alcohol) a year, and will use the adjacent harbour as a heat sink for cooling during the production process – which it says will “significantly reduce” the volume of water required to produce its whisky.

Port of Leith Distillery will be the only producer in Scotland to use a vertical distilling process, and will focus on fermentation via a product development and research programme with Heriot Watt University’s International Centre for Brewing and Distilling that is slated to launch in 2018.

University students will have access to the building’s lab and blending facility as well as opportunities for work experience and internships.

The distillery has plans for “a number of early-release products” while its single malt whisky matures.

“We have set out to create a new whisky business with innovation, education and openness placed at the forefront of our operations,” said Stirling. “The design brief for the building was expressly aimed at encompassing these values by creating an exciting and modern face for the Scotch whisky industry.”

Just short of 40 metres in height and with a total floorspace of 28,000 sqft; the site will also house a rooftop bar and restaurant, tasting areas that will double as public spaces for exhibitions and workshops.

“Leith was once the national hub for the Scotch industry and it’s really exciting to be restarting that tradition,” added Fletcher. “Our business will boost the local economy by drawing more tourists and residents down to the harbour and providing many new jobs.

“Leith has been on the up for many years and we’re really excited to be building where we are, right in the heart of the docks. Hopefully the quality of our building’s architecture will encourage more investment in the area.”