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  • Writer's pictureSharon Wilson

The only way is up as Port of Leith Distillery completes


the distillery is nine storeys

Whisky fans are invited to scale new heights as the UK’s first vertical distillery, Port of Leith, opens its tour bookings and reveals first-look images of the finished interior ahead of opening to the public on Wednesday, October 11th.

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 £12m nine-storey distillery is complete and ready to welcome visitors.

Bookings are now live for Port of Leith’s tour and tasting experience, with tours running 12-8 p.m. Wednesday to Friday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. on Saturdays and 12 p.m.-5 p.m. 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.

Founders Paddy Fletcher and Ian Stirling

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 is set to be the biggest tourist attraction to be built in Leith for decades, with a projected 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. Priced at £26 per person, Port of Leith Distillery tours will be available from Wednesday 11th of October. They can be booked online here. The Port of Leith Distillery Bar can be booked separately online.





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