Review of Port of Leith Distillery with Lind & Lime Gin Tasting Tour

Tuesday 02 May 2023


The Central Scotland branch organises and promotes site visits as a way to inspire, share construction knowledge and good practice within the industry and at the same time offer an opportunity to experience site work for people in the industry who don’t often get to visit building sites. If you work on a site that you think would be of interest, please reach to your branch committee, they will probably be happy to organise a site visit.

The Port of Leith Distillery site visit was a follow up to last year’s tour, where we discovered the first vertical distillery in Edinburgh and found out about the structural challenges and concept behind the building and the whisky making process. This year, with the building fully enclosed, the whisky process and stills in place and the visitor experience soon to open, we got to comprehend the finished space and framed views.

Sitting on Leith's waterfront, the distillery will be a beacon for cruise ships entering the port and an iconic new structure for Edinburgh. At the core of the building is a vertical production process, with grain milling and mashing at the top, leading down through fermentation to distillation at the bottom. Around that, a unique experience for the visitors, will allow them to get as close to the process as possible.

The complex distilling process is already in place, waiting to start producing the first whisky, and the visitor experience is progressing quick for the grand opening by the end of this summer. Robin Ellis, from Graven, and Tamsin Job, from Muckle Brig guided us through the site visit where we heard about the internal design strategy and the fit-out challenges of blending a visitor experience with a fully functioning whisky processing distillery.

We discovered the interior design concept to introduce the perception of a whisky library and the meticulous laboratory, in an modern, vertical industrial building also offering a warm and delicate visitor experience.

It was also interesting to find out that Port of Leith Distillery are always pushing for a sustainable and innovative way of making whisky, with high levels of research on the production process from their laboratories and with a low carbon footprint, especially on transport, as the full process will be seen from the top of the distillery tower, from the fields where the grain is planted to the warehouses where the whisky will age.

As a beacon for the brand and whisky, the building is already part of the identity of a product which we will have to wait for at least another three years to even give it a try.

Thank you very much to Graven and Lind and Lime for sponsoring the event.

Find more about Scotland Branches and future site visits here.

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