The upcoming £10 million Port of Leith Distillery launches its first drinks this week with a new gin and sherry, celebrating the maritime and distilling heritage of Edinburgh’s historic Port of Leith district.
Named after Edinburgh’s Dr. James Lind, a hero of the Scottish Enlightenment, who observed that citrus fruits prevented scurvy in the world’s first recorded clinical trial, Lind & Lime Gin combines flavours of lime and pink peppercorn.
With a base spirit at 96% ABV, the gin has been distilled with seven carefully curated botanicals that come together in a delicate harmony.
Designed in a distinctive wine bottle shape, Lind & Lime Gin harks back to Leith’s past as a trading harbour for wines, sherries and ports, which were the most valuable commodities to pass through the docks from the 14th century onwards. Traditionally wines and spirits were transported in barrels, before being bottled in Leith. This remarkable local industrial heritage has inspired the choice of a wine bottle shape.
Ian Stirling, co-founder of Port of Leith Distillery said:
“We’ve thrown our full and unbridled energy into creating a gin forged entirely from the talent, heritage and industry of Edinburgh and its historic distilling district of Leith. In everything that we produce, our watchword is ‘balance’ and the recipe of seven botanicals has worked in harmony to create something really special.”
In addition to Lind & Lime Gin, Port of Leith Distillery is launching a sherry sourced from Bodegas Baron in Cadiz, Andalucía. Port of Leith Distillery Sherry is a refreshing style of Oloroso, with zingy citrus notes, dried fruit, and a beautiful array of nutty flavours. It’s delicious served at room temperature with a plate of charcuterie, roast almonds, or chilled on a hot summer’s evening.
The sherry is similarly inspired by Leith’s maritime past, when whisky merchants based in The Shore area would use empty sherry casks to store their spirits. They soon discovered sherry casks transformed the flavour of their products and a major innovation in whisky production was born. In the future, Port of Leith Distillery will source sherry casks from Bodegas Baron to mature its whisky.
Paddy Fletcher, Port of Leith Distillery co-founder, said:
“Sherry plays a crucial role in defining the character of many of Scotland’s best-loved whiskies and the Bodegas Baron sherry will help form our whisky. So, while we wait for our whisky to mature, this is a perfect opportunity to give the sherry its moment in the limelight”
The sherry, gin and whisky development is currently housed at The Tower Street Stillhouse near the site of the future distillery.
Scotland’s first ever vertical distillery, the Port of Leith Distillery is set to be a landmark new tourist attraction, with a bold design and panoramic views over Edinburgh, Leith and the harbour. With finance and planning permission now secured, work will begin on the project in Spring 2019, with an opening date in Autumn 2020.
It will mark one of the first purpose-built malt whisky distilleries to come to Edinburgh in over 100 years.
Founded by two local childhood friends, Paddy Fletcher and Ian Stirling, the Port of Leith Distillery will bring an innovative focus on fermentation to whisky production. The team has already embarked on a two-year research programme (in association with Heriot Watt University’s International Centre for Brewing and Distilling) to bring new yeasts and fermentation styles into the production process.