Edinburgh whisky distilleries
Following a long period when there were no malt whisky distilleries in Edinburgh, the opening of the Holyrood Distillery and the Bonnington Distillery, along with the ongoing construction of the Port of Leith Distillery (opening in 2022) has, quite literally, changed the city’s landscape.
The Holyrood Distillery
The Holyrood Distillery was the first single malt whisky distillery in Edinburgh for nearly a century. Opening for business in July 2019, it lies close to Holyrood Park, the Scottish Parliament buildings and only a short walk from the Royal Mile.
Holyrood Distillery tours
Complete with Courtyard Bar, with a great view of Arthur’s Seat, the distillery has a very impressive award-winning visitor centre and offers a range of guided distillery tours, masterclasses and tastings.
A spokesperson said, “We are creating a historically inspired, yet totally new style of whisky. Local malts, Edinburgh yeast. And very special casks.”
While waiting for the new range of Holyrood malt whiskies to mature in Spanish oak sherry casks, the distillery has created a range of special cask offerings for investors.
The Bonnington Distillery
The Bonnington Distillery filled their first casks in their new Leith, Edinburgh distillery in March 2020 and market their single malt Scotch whisky under the Crabbie brand, now owned by Halewood Artisanal Spirits.
The venerable Crabbie & Co, a heritage brand – a well-known name in the Leith based whisky business – has a history dating to the early days of the 19th century. Today Crabbie’s Green Ginger Wine is the company’s most recognisable product although that will undoubtedly change in time.
Currently, the Bonnington Distillery has no visitor centre or distillery tours.
Crabbie’s has released several independent bottlings from different Scotch Whisky Regions which are available to buy from a number of stockists. They include:
- Yardhead single malt
- Crabbie 12 year old – Speyside Edition
- Crabbie 15 year old Highland Single Malt
- Crabbie 8 year old
- Crabbie 12 year old – Island Edition
Port of Leith Distillery
After what seemed like a long process of planning, construction began at the end of 2019 on this new vertical distillery. Starting at the top with grain milling and mashing, moving down through fermentation to distillation at the bottom. With space at a premium, the design offers a very practical solution.
The co-founders Patrick Fletcher and Ian Stirling look forward to welcoming people to the visitor centre, shop and bar. A range of tours is also planned. In addition, there will be dedicated space for exhibitions and events.
Glenkinchie, a whisky distillery near Edinburgh
Glenkinchie Distillery sits within a beautifully landscaped garden and is 15 miles from Edinburgh in Pencaitland, East Lothian. This Diageo owned distillery is the Lowland home of Johnnie Walker.
The original distillery founded in 1825 by brothers John and George Rate was renamed Glenkinchie in 1837. In 1914 Glenkinchie established Scottish Malt distillers with four other Lowland distilleries.
In 1988, Glenkinchie 10 year old was chosen as one of six in the Classic Malt series
- The water source is the Lammermuir Hills Spring
- Capacity is 2.5m LPA (2020)
- Maturation – mainly ex-bourbon casks some on site
- Floor malting until 1968 – now lightly peated malt from various sources
Glenkinchie Visitor Centre
In 2020, a new multi-million-pound visitor centre opened at Glenkinchie offering an innovative, interactive and sensory experience for visitors.
With a bar area overlooking the garden, local specialities can be enjoyed with a dram in beautiful surroundings.
The core range includes a Distillers Edition, and 12-year-old, and 16-year-old from the Four Corners of Scotland Collection.
Is gin your tipple?
Gin distilleries in Edinburgh
- Some of Edinburgh’s whisky distilleries also produce gin. Truly Edinburgh’s Gin Page has a list.
- Gin bars in Edinburgh