Inverness to get first distillery in nearly 40 years

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Plans to build Inverness’s first distillery in nearly four decades have been unveiled.

The waters of the Ness River would provide some of the power for the Uilebhist distillery, which is named after the Gaelic word for “monster”.

The site will also house a brewery, with both fermentation and distillation expected to begin later this year.

Uilebheist’s five core beers are set to go on sale in November.

Owner John Erasmus said: “All the water used in the processes will also be sourced from the river, meaning that when you drink Uilebhist’s liquid, you’re really tasting the Highlands.

“With exceptional beers and whiskies, we aim to raise the bar when it comes to visitor experiences and hope this project will pave the way for the Scottish hospitality sector in the region.

“The center will offer a variety of tours and experiences, from on-site tours and sampling of our core whiskey and craft beer products to detailed master classes, blending workshops, and food pairing menus.”

Erasmus has hired Bruce Smith as its master brewer and distiller.

Smith studied brewing and distillation at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh and spent the past decade working in the craft beer industry, which involved aging beers in whiskey barrels.

“We are on track to officially open and begin producing beer in November that visitors can enjoy at the taproom,” Smith said.

“Whiskey production will begin later this year – due to our small scale we will be producing around 200 casks annually, making Ulebhist one of the rarest whiskeys in Scotland.

“The whiskey will be matured into ex-bourbon and sherry casks, but the whiskey will let us know when it is ready and we have no intention of rushing it.

“Quality is our number one focus.”

Read more news and reviews Scottish FieldFood and drink pages.

Also, see Blair Bowman’s whiskey column in July issue Scottish Field magazine,

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