UK’s first vertical distillery prepares to go live in Edinburgh

Vaibhav Sood has been appointed as the distillery’s head of whisky

PORT of Leith Distillery – the Scottish facility touted as the UK’s first vertical distillery – is preparing to turn its stills on for the first time after a massive £13 million construction project.

The unique facility, which neighbours the Royal Yacht Britannia and the Ocean Terminal shopping centre, is the brainchild of business partners and childhood friends Ian Stirling and Paddy Fletcher, who also own the nearby Lind & Lime Gin Distillery.

When production begins the nine-storey distillery is expected to create around a million litres of spirit a year, which will be aged in a variety of casks sourced from Spain, Portugal and the US.

In addition to its production facilities, the distillery will also include a top floor mezzanine bar with views over Leith and Edinburgh, with the owners expecting 25,000 visitors in the first year and up to 160,000 a year by 2025.

In preparation for the launch the company has hired Vaibhav Sood as its head of whisky.

Sood, previously operations manager at The Lakes Distillery in England, said joining the Scotch whisky industry ‘has always been a dream of mine’.

 “Alongside getting to work with such a dedicated, passionate and forward thinking team, I’m honoured to be leading in all aspects of whisky making as we work towards bringing our new world class single malt to people across the globe,” he said.

Co-owner Paddy Fletcher said Sood’s appointment ‘is a huge step forward for us as we look towards starting production in the next couple of months’.