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Holyrood lures big hitters to distillery team

Holyrood Distillery Team, left to right: David Robertson, Bill Farrar, Jack Mayo, Rob Carpenter, Laura Anderson and Hamish Martin

Holyrood Distillery has recruited one of the best-known names in the Scotch sector as it reaches another major milestone in its aim of bringing back malt whisky distilling to Edinburgh.

Bill Farrar, who has 30 years experience in the industry, joins as sales and marketing director. He is on of a number of key hires for the project. Jack Mayo is appointed head distiller,  and Laura Anderson becomes director of finance.

Mr Farrar was most recently managing director, super premium, at The Edrington Group.

Prior to this he was group sales and marketing director, with responsibility for global sales, marketing and distribution of The Macallan and Highland Park single malt brands as well as Famous Grouse and Cutty Sark blended scotches. 

In his new role with Holyrood Distillery, he will focus on growing sales through the on and off trade, in Scotland, the UK and overseas.

Mr Mayo spent three years at Glasgow Distillery while Ms Anderson is a chartered accountant and has a long history in the whisky industry, having worked with Edrington in various roles.

Also providing advice to the Holyrood team is botanicals expert Hamish Martin, owner of Edinburgh’s Secret Herb Garden, and former co-founder of Inverarity Vaults, once Scotland’s largest independent wine merchants. 

Rob Carpenter, managing director,  said: “I’m thrilled by the team we’ve now got in place. Everyone involved brings with them their own unique talents and, importantly, years of experience working at the very top of the whisky industry.

“Our immediate priority is to complete our fundraising, so we can crack on with the next stage of getting Holyrood distillery up and running.”

Holyrood Distillery recently launched a £5.5 million funding drive to help fund the balance of its ambition to create a distillery and pioneering visitor centre, spanning 11,969 sq ft. 

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.


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