It has been 90 years since Edinburgh last distilled its own single malt whisky but this summer an agreement was set in place to bring back single malt to the city. In the summer of this year The City of Edinburgh Council agreed to enter into a lease with a brand new distillery at the Engine Shed near Holyrood Park, bringing Scotland’s most famous export back to its capital.
The Engine Shed is a new development with former master distiller for The Macallan believed to be behind the plans in the centre of the city and it has been described as a ‘boutique micro-distillery’ with a value of £2 million. The Engine Shed is also going to include a visitor experience to make it into a tourist attraction as well as Edinburgh’s newest whisky producer.
At the moment the proposal is subject to a planning application but there is real hope that it will be agreed and work will be able to begin to give the Engine Shed its new purpose and bring the proud tradition of single malt whisky back to Scotland’s capital.
The visitor experience will be a core element of the distillery’s design, fully integrated to the functional design of the facility and it will allow visitors to follow the distillation process from its very beginnings to the finished bottle. There are also hopes that the centre will be able to host an education centre which can be used by the community and local schools to learn about whisky distillation and the rich history in the area. Alongside exceptionally crafted boutique single malt, the Engine Shed will also provide locally sourced seasonal food and there are even ambitions to hold weekend markets.
In terms of impact for Edinburgh there is hope the new distillery will bring in 25 new jobs to the city and they hope to begin their first distillation by summer 2016. Within four years they plan to release their first single malt and with a boutique feel they have limited their production rate to 100,000 litres per year, delivering around 250,000 bottles of matured single malt within around 8 to 12 years.
Edinburgh is a city which was once famed for its distilleries, with as many as eight within the city at its peak and the last one is said to have closed in around 1925 and was located not far from the Engine Shed’s current site before it was demolished.
Check out The Drinks Cabinet’s supplies of Scottish whisky.