The Inverness based Uile-bheist distillery, the first in the Highland capital for 130 years, has officially opened.
The new £7.5m low-carbon Uile-bheist distillery and brewery, which is located on the River Ness, is the first to open in the city since 1892.
|The Uile-bheist Distillery|
Inverness, once Scotland’s malting hub, was home to the Glen Mhor, Glen Albyn and Millburn distilleries. However, they all closed during the infamous ‘whisky loch’ days of the 80s, when global production outstripped petering demand, leading to closures across the highlands.
Uile-bheist, which takes its name from the Gaelic for ‘monster’, will initially produce 200-300 casks of Highland single malt per year, with the aim of eventually increasing to 500-600 casks.
Around 350 000 litres of craft beer a year will also be produced on-site, which will be piped directly to their visitor tap room, adjacent to the brewing floor.
Water and energy for Uile-bheist’s whisky production comes from the River Ness, through a pioneering district heating system which uses shallow water wells to fire heat pumps; a system being eyed by local authorities.
The production of the low carbon whisky and craft beer comes through a dual technology developed by and imported from famous German brewing innovators and coppersmiths, Kaspar Schulz.
Commenting on the news, Jon Erasmus, Distillery Owner, said: “Our scale is craft, not volume. Our clean energy process, using shallow water wells, has been described as exemplary. It’s great to bring whisky distilling and brewing back to the city but we also wanted a high level of design specification throughout, from the stills to the dramming area, to the tap room. If people have travelled from New York or Tokyo, or if they’ve seen a lot of other distilleries, we want them to come here and think: I really like what they’ve done, here. Everything is photogenic.”
Future phases will see the creation of a distilling campus, bonded warehouse, tap room and tasting and visitor spaces.
A limited tour programme at the distillery starts today, with a full hourly tour programme beginning on April 1st. The distillery is tipped to attract 100 tour visits per day in peak season.
Posted by Steve Rush