Inverness to get first distillery in nearly 40 years

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

Water from the River Ness will provide some of the power for the Uilebheist 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 due to go on sale in November.

Owner Jon Erasmus said: “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.

“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.

“The centre 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.”

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

Smith studied brewing and distilling at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh and has spent the past decade working in the craft beer industry, including ageing beers in whisky barrels.

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

“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.

“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.”

Read more news and reviews on Scottish Field’s food and drink pages.

Plus, check out Blair Bowman’s whisky column in the July issue of Scottish Field magazine.