Holyrood Distillery

History: The dream several years ago for its founders was to bring back single malt whisky production to the capital after almost 100 years and this month they will see this become a reality with the official opening of the Holyrood Distillery. The distillery is situated next to Holyrood Park and in particular St. Leonard’s Lane, which has a rich distilling history in the city. The 180 year old building has had close to £6m spent on it to create a modern distillery and visitor centre which they promise to be “Unconstrained by heritage, category and tradition, we are a distinctively different” When it comes to the team behind the distillery they have assembled a knowledgeable and experienced team of “Whisky Avengers” that tells me to expect something pretty special coming from the distillery in the future. People like Bill Farrar, formerly the Managing Director, Super Premium Brands for Edrington, David Robertson who has 25 years experience working for Diageo, The Edrington Group, Whyte & MacKay to Jack Mayo a former Rocket scientist who has previously worked at The Glasgow Distillery shows me they aren't messing around.

The Spirit – While whisky will be a huge focus for the distillery, they have like many others have created a gin while their whisky rests. Holyrood Gin was recently launched 4 variants, a classic dry gin which is juniper heavy in flavour with a good citrus kick to it and a great example of a “classic dry” gin. On top of this you will also find a softer and sweeter style of gin called auld Tam Gin, Then there is their Holyrood Pink Gin which has more of a gin taste than most of the other pink gins out there. And finally they have their Holyrood Spiced Gin with warming notes of nutmeg, cinnamon, clove and allspice berries.

Geek Alert - If you are serous about your single malt and have some money saved up then you might want to think about signing up for the Holyrood Cask Programme. Under the guidance of spirit guru Dr Jack Mayo and co-founder and industry innovator David Robertson select people will be able to create their own whisky from scratch. You will be involved from closing your particular flavour profile, how long you ferment to choosing the actual cask to mature your spirit. They will only be releasing 100 casks which will be available to buy through a special programme and while it will be pretty expensive i haven't seen anything like this open to the public in the whisky industry.

Why Visit? – The visitor centre promises to be a more interactive experience than some of the more traditional tours out there. Located in the old The Engine Shed which is a significant part of Edinburgh's industrial heritage, as it was part of St Leonard's Station, the terminus of the Innocent Railway - Edinburgh's first passenger rail line. The tour will also feature a "laboratory" where guests can get hands on with botanicals and other ingredients as well as having an in-depth tour of their production of their whisky and gin.