Port of Leith Distillery launches first drinks

The first drinks from the £11 million Port of Leith Distillery launch this week with a new gin and sherry, celebrating the maritime and distilling heritage of Edinburgh’s historic Leith district, ahead of construction of the first purpose-built malt whisky distillery to come to Edinburgh in over 100 years.

Lind & Lime Gin has a base spirit at 96% ABV and has been distilled with seven carefully curated botanicals, combining flavours of lime and pink peppercorn.  The drink is named after Edinburgh’s James Lind, a hero of the Scottish Enlightenment who recommended limes to sailors suffering from scurvy.

Lind & Lime Gin has an RRP of £35 for 70cl and is available in cases of six.

Ian Stirling, co-owner of Port of Leith Distillery said: “This is the start of a stand-out development in the Scottish drinks scene. Bringing distilling back to the Port of Leith is something that’s exciting, not just for us but for so many people across the industry. We’ve had exceptional feedback from distillers, mixologists and retail partners and are delighted to be able to present a spirit that stands out in terms of taste, design and heritage.”

In addition to Lind & Lime Gin, Port of Leith Distillery is launching a sherry sourced from Bodega Baron in Cadiz, Andalucía. Port of Leith Distillery Sherry is a refreshing style of Oloroso, with zingy citrus notes, dried fruit, and a beautiful array of nutty flavours.

The sherry is similarly inspired by Leith’s maritime past, when whisky merchants based on the Shore would use empty sherry casks to store their spirits. They soon discovered that the sherry casks transformed the flavour of their products and a major innovation in whisky production was born.  This sherry will season the Port of Leith Distillery’s oak casks for 18 months in Spain, before the casks are shipped to Scotland and filled with whisky.

Port of Leith Distillery Sherry has an RRP of £15 for 75cl and is available in cases of six.

Paddy Fletcher, Port of Leith Distillery co-owner, said: “We know that whisky fans love sherry cask whiskies and this sherry will play an important role in defining the character of Port of Leith Distilllery’s whisky. This is something that should be savoured and enjoyed while we wait for the whisky to mature.”

The sherry, gin and whisky development is currently housed at Tower Street Stillhouse near the site of the future distillery.

Scotland’s first ever vertical distillery, Port of Leith Distillery is set to be a landmark new tourist attraction, with a bold design and panoramic views over Leith and the harbour.  With finance and planning permission now secured for work to begin on the project in Spring 2019, the distillery is expected to be up and running in autumn 2020 with first whisky bottlings taking place in 2023.