Scotland’s Inverness Welcomes First New Distillery In Four Decades

| July 22, 2022

It’s been four decades since Inverness, the capital of the Scottish Highlands, welcomed a new distillery.

Set to open at the end of this year, Uilebheist, a £6-million whisky distillery and brewery which will be sustainably powered by the water from the nearby River Ness, will create 40 jobs.

Nestled on the banks of the river that flows to the famous Loch Ness, Uilebheist is a new, low-carbon distillery and brewery named after the Scottish Gaelic word for ‘monster.’

Uilebheist

A mock up of Uilebheist’s new stills (image via Uilebheist)

A statement from the new distillery notes that monster is the ethos of the project, inspired by thousands of years of Scottish folklore and aiming to connect Scotland’s ancient past with the present.

Both beer and whisky production will begin this year at Uilebheist, and the brewery’s five core beer styles will be available to purchase in late November.

The Uilebheist Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky will be the core whisky product and will be released once it’s matured, as will rare cask finishes and single cask bottlings in the years ahead.

Uilebheist owner, Jon Erasmus, said, “The very foundations of this project were born from Scottish myth and legend. We wanted to create something unique to the area, with the distillery, and brewery both powered by the famous River Ness. All water used in the processes will also be sourced from the river, meaning that when you drink Uilebheist’s liquid, you really are tasting the Highlands.”

He said that creating both beer and whisky simultaneously will allow them to offer an immediate product, and while they wait for the whisky to reach maturity, there will be an opportunity to own one of a limited number of casks of the Uilebheist Single Malt Whisky distilled in the first year of production, through their cask program.

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“Alongside exceptional beer and whisky, we aim to raise the bar when it comes to visitor experiences and hope that the project will lead the way for Scotland’s hospitality sector in the area,” Erasmus added. “The center will offer a range of tours and experiences ranging from site tours and sampling of our core whisky and craft beer products through to detailed master classes, blending workshops and food pairing menus.”

The distillery and brewery will be headed up by Bruce Smith, who has a masters degree in brewing and distilling from Heriot-Watt University and spent the last decade working in the craft beer industry and aging beer in ex-whisky barrels.

“We are on track to officially open in November of 2022 and begin beer production, which visitors can enjoy in the taproom. Whisky production will commence later this year, due to our small scale we will only produce around 200 casks annually, making Uilebheist one of the rarest whiskies in Scotland,” Smith said. “The whisky will be matured in ex-bourbon and sherry casks, but the whisky will let us know when it’s ready and we have no intention to rush it. Quality is our number one focus.”

The Uilbeheist cask program will see only 100 casks made available this year and they will be sold on a first come, first served basis. For more information and to register your interest, you can email [email protected]

Uilebheist Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky distiller’s notes:

  • Ex-bourbon and ex-sherry maturation.
  • Highly selective cut points in distillation process.
  • Uilebheist Brewers Yeast to create a unique flavor.
  • Locally grown malted barley.
  • Natural color and non-chill filtered.
  • Taste: Butterscotch, candied citrus peel, raisins and sultanas, delicate wood spices, vanilla.
  • Production size: Annual production of 200 casks.
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Gary Carter

Gary Carter has been at the helm of metro newspapers, magazines, and television news programs as well as a radio host and marketing manager. He is a writer/editor/photographer/designer by trade, with more than 30 years experience in the publishing and marketing field. Gary enjoys working to build something great, whether...