Uile-bheist Distillery fills its maiden cask


Uile-bheist Distillery has filled its maiden casks, with the new make spirit set to become the first single malt whisky to be distilled in Inverness for 40 years.

Head Distiller Andrew ‘Drew’ Shearer performed the historic first cask filling, with the distilled spirit now being laid down for maturation in ex-sherry and ex-bourbon oak casks for a minimum of three years before officially becoming Scotch Whisky.

In a milestone week, Uile-bheist also filled the first batch of 500 (500ml) bottles of the new make spirit which has an ABV of 63.5%which will go on sale in the new £7.5m distillery, brewery and visitor attraction. Around 60 casks of the historic product are available, ranging in price from £6000 for a 200L ex-bourbon cask to £7500 for a 250L ex-sherry Hogshead of Uile-bheist single malt.

Co-Owner Jon Erasmus said, “This week marks the end of the beginning for us: the casking and bottling of our first product. We’ve been through the process. Now we want to build on our production and capacity.

“Ultimately, we are a family business supporting this concept for the very long term. This is a small, niche whisky in the highlands with lots of provenance. It is very limited edition. If you buy it, you will literally be one of dozens, not thousands.”

The Uile-bheist story contains unique elements which the team believe will be mirrored in the product. Water for energy and production is sourced through shallow water wells from the River Ness, making the on-site process low carbon and energy efficient and the water is treated by UV light and technology from German coppersmiths, Kaspar Schulz, enables the recovery of heat throughout distillation.

The yeast used is brewers’ yeast, rather than distillers’ yeast, and Head Distiller, Drew Shearer explains, “Because we are using a brewers’ yeast, our own water supply, a very long fermentation time (minimum 4 days, often much longer) and have a lot of temperature control in our fermentations, we are getting a much higher ester content in our whisky, a lot more fruity notes and a much more unique product”.

Uile-bheist intends to release a ‘very bespoke’ bottling of its Single Highland malt at 3 years old whilst laying down the remainder for ‘the long haul’.


Category: News, Whisky
Tags: Andrew Shearer, Jon Erasmus, Uile-bheist distillery