Whisky Focus - Port Of Leith Appoints Head Of Whisky Ahead Of Opening

Port Of Leith Appoints Head Of Whisky Ahead Of Opening

6th July 2023
Ahead of going into production later this year the Port of Leith distillery has appointed Vaibhav Sood as Head of Whisky.

Port of Leith Distillery

The Port of Leith, the first vertical whisky distillery in the UK, has announced the appointment of its Head of Whisky in preparation for the activation of its stills and the opening of its doors to the public.

Vaibhav Sood, formerly the Operations Manager at The Lakes Distillery, has taken on this newly established role, signifying a significant milestone for the £13 million nine-storey distillery. Scheduled to launch later this year in Leith's historic port, the distillery will offer tours, tastings, and a mezzanine bar on the top floor, providing what should be rather breathtaking panoramic views of Leith and Edinburgh.

Port Of Leith Head Of Whisky Vaibhav Sood

In addition to its visitor experiences, the Port of Leith Distillery aims to produce up to one million bottles of premium whisky annually. Achieving this goal will involve utilising locally grown barley, implementing extensive research on yeast and fermentation, and procuring casks from esteemed producers in Spain, Portugal, and the USA.

Initial estimates indicate that the distillery is expected to attract 25,000 visitors during its inaugural year, with projections soaring to 160,000 annual visitors by 2025.

Commenting on his appointment, Vaibhav said: "Joining the iconic Scotch whisky industry was always a dream of mine, and immersing myself in a distillation process as unique as Port of Leith is already proving to be an incredible experience.

"Alongside getting to work with such a dedicated, passionate and forward thinking team, Iím 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."

The distillery's establishment in the upcoming year will not only include Vaibhav's role but will also create 50 long-term local jobs.

Paddy Fletcher, Co-Founder of Port of Leith Distillery, said: "Vaibhavís appointment is a huge step forward for us as we look towards starting production in the next couple of months.

"Already, he has been instrumental in streamlining elements of our production process, spearheading our wood management program and recruiting for our Whisky Operations team and we look forward to his input in creating our exceptional new wave whisky."

Port of Leith Distillery is the latest long term investment in Leith by co-owners and lifelong friends Ian Stirling and Paddy Fletcher, following the opening of the new Lind & Lime Gin Distillery in May 2022, a brand they launched in 2018 from a tiny industrial unit.

The eco-conscious gin distillery, powered entirely by green electricity, has already attracted over 6,000 visitors who have enjoyed its tasting, bottling, and cocktail making tours. This year, the distillery anticipates a significant increase in visitor numbers, with projections reaching up to 15,000 visitors annually.

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