New Highland spirit brewing

Low carbon whisky distillery and brewery set to open

Uilebheist owner Jon Erasmus stands infront of the new distillery
Uilebheist owner Jon Erasmus said the brewery and distillery is “unique to the area”.

INVERNESS has a new whisky distillery and brewery.

Named after the Gaelic word for monster, Uilebheist sits on the banks of the River Ness and will operate to a low carbon plan, powered by water from the river.

Production of both beer and whisky is set to begin this year, with the brewery’s five core beer styles expected to be available in late November.

The core range will comprise the 4.6% ABV Craft Lager, described as “crisp, light and refreshing”; 4.2% ABV Pale Ale, which is said to have flavours of apricots, peaches and mangoes; 5.6% ABV IPA, described as “tropical, citrus and resinous”; the 5.4% ABV “fruity, hazy and hoppy” White IPA; and the 5% ABV Stout, which is said to have flavours of chocolate and espresso.

The core whisky, Uilebheist Highland Single Malt, will be released once matured (Scotch whisky must be matured for a minimum of three years); rare cask finishes and single cask bottlings will be launched in the years ahead.

Uilebheist owner Jon Erasmus said: “We wanted to create something unique to the area, with the distillery and brewery both powered by the famous River Ness.

“All water used in the processes will also be sourced from the river, meaning that when you drink Uilebheist’s liquid, you really are tasting the Highlands.

“Creating both beer and whisky simultaneously will allow us to offer an immediate product and whilst we wait for the whisky to reach maturity, there will be an opportunity to own one of a limited number of casks of the Uilebheist single malt whisky distilled in the first year of production through our cask programme.

“Alongside exceptional beer and whisky, we aim to raise the bar when it comes to visitor experiences and hope that the project will lead the way for Scotland’s hospitality sector in the area. The centre will offer a range of tours and experiences ranging from site tours and sampling of our core whisky and craft beer products through to detailed masterclasses, blending workshops and food pairing menus.”

Bruce Smith, Uilebheist master brewer and distiller, said quality is the “number one focus”.

“We are on track to officially open in November 2022 and begin beer production,” he said.

“Whisky production will commence later this year; due to our small scale we will only produce around 200 casks annually, making Uilebheist one of the rarest whiskies in Scotland.

“The whisky will be matured in ex-bourbon and sherry casks, but the whisky will let us know when it’s ready and we have no intention to rush it.”