Royal Mile Whiskies changes hands

Keir Sword and Iain McClune toast the deal.

ROYAL Mile Whiskies, the specialist retailer and wholesaler, is to be acquired by Scottish entrepreneur – and former employee – Iain McClune.

McClune, a former manager of Royal Mile Whiskies and the founder of drinks sites Whisky Auctioneer, Wine Auctioneer and Rum Auctioneer, will acquire Dormant Distillery Company (DDC), the parent firm of Royal Mile Whiskies, Cigar Box and Drinkmonger, from Keir Sword for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition will be carried out through McClune’s Vintage Saga holding company.

The deal marks the second time Royal Mile Whiskies has been acquired by a former employee. Sword had also worked at the shop as an employee before buying it in 1997.

He went on to expand the business into a major online retailer as well as a prominent spirits supplier to the licensed trade.

He said: “I am delighted to pass the business over to Iain who as a former employee shares my affection for the business and understands the importance of our fantastic team of drinks enthusiasts.

“As a former employee who myself returned to buy Royal Mile Whiskies it is greatly satisfying to pass the baton on to one of our own, who shares my vision for the business and I trust to carry on our values.

“The fact the business retains its independent spirit but at the same time gains the backing and support of the equally enthusiastic and talented team at Vintage Saga, makes it a very exciting time for DDC.

“They inherit not only the wonderful staff, but a very supportive bunch of suppliers and loyal customers to all of whom I send my huge thanks for their contribution over the past quarter century. I wish Iain, Arthur and all of the team my very best for a bright future, and shall continue to cheer you all on from the sidelines.”

McClune said his Vintage Saga business and the Dormant Distillery Company “are both independent Scottish companies with the same knowledge-centric approach and people-first culture, with committed and passionate employees who contribute hugely to the success of the businesses”.

“Exciting times are ahead and I am particularly pleased to be inheriting such a great team as they will be crucial to the ongoing success and future growth of the DDC brands,” said McClune.

“Under Keir’s tenure, Royal Mile Whiskies has become recognised as one of the great independent UK whisky merchants and this reputation is exactly what we look forward to building with all at DDC.”

Following the deal the Dormant Distillery Company will continue to operate as a separate entity, with Arthur Motley – who worked under Sword for over 20 years – as managing director.