UK’s First Vertical Distillery Invites Fans to Join Whisky Making Journey

The team behind the £12m Port of Leith vertical Distillery are launching a Quality Control Division, recruiting fans to become part of the whisky making process.

As part of a unique opportunity, Port of Leith is inviting Quality Control Division members to follow the journey from new make spirit to single malt Scotch whisky with an annual sample pulled each year from the maturing casks.

Following years of scientific research in partnership with Heriot Watt University’s International Centre for Brewing & Distilling (ICDB), lifelong friends and co-founders Ian Stirling and Paddy Fletcher discovered that moving beyond classic distillers yeast could allow the new make to have distinctive, intense and complex aromas and flavours.

Ian Stirling, Co-Founder of Port of Leith Distillery, said:

“At Port of Leith Distillery, we are pioneering a new wave of whisky making. It’s important to us to take whisky fans on this adventure with us, with our Quality Control Division, and have some fun along the way.

“Over the years, we’ve visited a lot of distilleries and the place that always captures our imagination is the samples room; scores of small bottles containing individual cask samples from the warehouse, ready to be tasted and analysed for quality. We always thought: if we build our own distillery, we get to play there. While we may not be able to invite everyone to join us in our samples room, we’ve found a way to bring the samples room to the world.

“As a member of the Quality Control Division, you will get to witness our whisky’s birth, its childhood and its adolescence. As well as annual samples, QCD members will be invited to unique and private tastings annually and we hope lot’s of people from all over the world get involved.”

Membership to the Quality Control Division lasts eight years with an annual pack including two 20cl bottles drawn from a single maturing cask. The initial kit includes samples of Beta 1 and Beta 2, along with Port of Leith branded apparel and stationery and a discount card for 15% off Port of Leith Export Co shop, the online store and the future distillery bar. The final year will see the release of the inaugural vintage of the Port of Leith Single Malt launched exclusively for Quality Control Division members. Price for membership starts at £550.

For further information or to purchase, please visit

Tags: First Vertical DistilleryPort of LeithUKWhisky Making Journey
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My name is Greg, and I’m a brand strategy consultant, writer, speaker, host and judge specialising in premium spirits. My mission is to experience, share and inspire with everything great about whisky, whiskey, gin, beer and fine dining through my writing, my brand building and my whisky tastings.

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