Single malt whisky distilling returns to Edinburgh city centre for first time in almost 100 years

The £6.7m Holyrood Distillery is now open, bringing single malt whisky distilling back to the centre of the capital for the first time in almost 100 years.

It’s the first operational single malt distillery in central Edinburgh since 1925 when The Edinburgh Distillery (aka Glen Sciennes) closed.

The distillery, which has been built in a 3-storey Class B Listed former railway goods shed dating back to 1831, will employ 30 people.

Spirit production will be handled by distillery manager Jack Mayo, previously of The Glasgow Distillery, alongside distillers Ollie Salvesen and Elizabeth Machin. The whisky is distilled using two exceptionally tall stills – at 7m tall, they are the tallest stills in Scotland in proportion to their volume.

Holyrood Distillery is the notion of Canadian Rob Carpenter who, in 2013, first had the idea for a distillery and visitor experience in central Edinburgh. Rob, who founded the Canadian branch of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society together with his wife Kelly, has brought his vision to life in partnership with co-founder David Robertson, who has 25 years’ experience in the industry.

To fund the project, Carpenter and his team raised £5.8m of investment. This included a £1.5m investment from the Scottish Investment Bank, the largest single investor, and investments from about 60 private individuals from around the world.

Kerry Sharp, director of the Scottish Investment Bank, said, “I’m pleased that our investment has supported the development, by an outstanding team, of this new distillery and visitor experience in Scotland’s capital.

“Tourism supports more than 30,000 jobs in Edinburgh, with more than £1m per day being spent on food and drink – and Holyrood Distillery is a fantastic addition to both these sectors. We look forward to working more with the team going forward, helping them to maximise the full potential of the attraction.”

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