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Investors sought by Edinburgh distillery

A new single malt whisky and spirits distillery opening in Edinburgh is giving UK investors to opportunity to be part of its launch.

Holyrood Distillery (bringing malt distilling back to Edinburgh after 90 years) has launched a £5.5 million funding drive to help fund the balance of its ambition to create a distillery and pioneering visitor centre, spanning 11,969sqft, in the heart of Scotland’s capital.

Led by Johnston Carmichael, the fundraising launch marks the latest milestone in the distillery’s development, following the City of Edinburgh Council’s decision last year to approve development of the historic Engine Shed building and site on St Leonard’s Lane into a distillery and visitor centre.

The funds will be used to renovate the 180 year old City-owned building, purchase and install equipment, create the visitor experience and provide working capital to cover the early costs of start-up and production.

A joint development by David Robertson, former master distiller for The Macallan, and Rob and Kelly Carpenter, founders of the Canadian branch of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society, Holyrood Distillery will be Edinburgh’s first single malt whisky distillery since Glen Sciennes closed in the 1920s.

The distillery will produce a range of single malts, gins, liqueurs and other spirits. Its innovative approach to ingredients, distilling processes and maturation will set Holyrood apart from more traditional approaches.

The visitor centre – Holyrood’s ‘Home of Flavour’ – will provide an immersive sensory and educational experience aimed at enlightening and delighting its visitors as they explore the world of flavour.

Distilling of Holyrood whisky will begin in late 2018, with bottles hitting the shelves as early as 2021. Holyrood’s ‘flavour first’ focus will be brought to life early in 2018 with prototype gins and liqueurs for test marketing. Products will then be produced ready for the distillery opening to the public later in 2018.

Rob Carpenter, managing director, Holyrood Distillery says: “We feel truly fortunate to have the opportunity to be part of bringing single malt distilling back to Edinburgh after far too long an absence. Kelly, David and I all love our spirits and we’re incredibly enthusiastic about making flavour-filled single malts, gins and other cool tipples as well as creating an experience which allows our visitors to truly immerse themselves in the world of Holyrood. We are confident that by placing a working distillery in the heart of Edinburgh’s capital, with the visitor numbers and cash flow that is expected to provide, we are creating something that is quite different from the typical distillery start-up.”

13 June 2017 - Sam Coyne The Drinks Report, news editor