In Pictures: Port of Leith vertical distillery project officially completed
The UK’s first vertical distillery in Leith has revealed first-look images of the finished interior ahead of opening to the public next month.
More than a decade since the ‘pipe dream’ idea was first conceived by wine merchant Ian Stirling and finance director Paddy Fletcher over a dram in Milroy’s whisky bar, London, the £12 million nine-storey Port of Leith distillery is complete and ready to welcome visitors.
Bookings are now live for Port of Leith’s tour and tasting experience, with tours running 12-8pm Wednesday to Friday, 11am-7pm on Saturdays and 12pm-5pm on Sundays.
Over the course of 90 minutes, fans will be guided through the story of the distillery’s unlikely conception, fill their own miniature bottle of new make spirit and taste their way through the distillery’s production process in its purpose-built Quality Control Tasting Laboratory.
Reservations are now also available for the top floor mezzanine bar, also opening on October 11th, a one-of-a-kind space boasting panoramic 360 views over the city, a floor-to-ceiling back whisky bar and a menu of small plates designed to showcase Scotland’s world class ingredients.
Ian Stirling, co-founder of Port of Leith Distillery, said: “Building a distillery of our own has been an ambition of Paddy and mine for over 10 years so to see the project finally come to fruition is a surreal moment for us.
“We never set out to build a vertical distillery - the shape and size of the building is a product of the tiny site we were able to secure. We wedged our distillery tower into Edinburgh’s historic harbour to make our building as accessible as possible to people who, like us, love whisky.
“We’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how to make the Port of Leith tour as special as we possibly can and look forward to welcoming fans across the globe to a whisky experience like no other.”
Port of Leith has projected to welcome 25,000 visitors in its first year, increasing to 160,000 by 2025.
Paddy Fletcher, co-founder of The Port of Leith Distillery, added: “Coming from Edinburgh, we were always confused as to why there were no single malt distilleries operating in the city.
“Being able to build something modern and different has been an enormous treat; hopefully it will encourage people to take a second look at Scotch whisky as there’s huge amounts of innovation and excitement going on within the industry.”
The distillery is creating up to 50 long-term local jobs, with the capacity to produce one million bottles of whisky per year.