Official opening

Historic day for whisky as Holyrood Distillery opens its doors

Rob Carpenter and David Robertson Holyrood Distillery

Rob Carpenter and David Robertson (pic: Terry Murden)

The first single malt whisky distillery in the centre of Edinburgh for almost 100 years opens its doors today and hopes to become not only a major contributor to Scotland’s national drink but a big draw for visitors.

The distillery, which makes gin as well as whisky, will be running daily guided tours throughout the year.

The Holyrood Distillery is housed in a converted railway goods shed dating back to 1831 in the shadow of Arthur’s Seat. The £6.7 million project has created more than 30 jobs, with a visitors’ centre, shop and bar.

It has been co-founded by Rob Carpenter, 55, a Canadian lawyer and whisky enthusiast, and David Robertson, 51, who worked for the whisky groups Edrington and Whyte & Mackay. They have raised more than £4 million from private investors, while the Scottish Investment Bank provided £1.5 million.

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

The whisky is distilled in the two tallest stills in Scotland – 7m – in proportion to their volume.

Mr Carpenter, who founded the Canadian branch of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, said: “It’s a really special moment to see Holyrood Distillery open.”

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