Port of Leith Distillery appoints head of whisky

Port of Leith Distillery appoints head of whisky

Vaibhav Sood, previously operations manager at The Lakes Distillery, will take on the role at the new Edinburgh distillery

06 July 2023

Port of Leith Distillery in Edinburgh has appointed a head of whisky as it prepares to turn on its stills.


Vaibhav Sood, previously operations manager at The Lakes Distillery in England, is stepping into the role at the brand-new £13 million nine-storey distillery. Once open, Port of Leith will have the capacity to produce up to one million bottles of whisky per year and has plans to experiment with yeast strains, its fermentation process, and maturation programmes.


Sood said: "Joining the iconic Scotch whisky industry was always a dream of mine, and immersing myself in a distillation process as unique as Port of Leith is already proving to be an incredible experience.

“Alongside getting to work with such a dedicated, passionate and forward thinking team, I’m honoured to be leading in all aspects of whisky making as we work towards bringing our new world class single malt to people across the globe."

The Port of Leith Distillery, in Leith's historic port. Credit: Port of Leith Distillery

The distillery, the first in the UK built with a vertical design, is due to open later this year and expects to support 50 jobs once operational. Alongside production, it will also host tours and tastings and be able to welcome visitors it its top-floor mezzanine bar, boasting panoramic views of the area.


It was founded by Iain Stirling and Paddy Fletcher, who also run the Lind & Lime Gin Distillery in Leith. Their gin operation moved to a new brand home in Leith in May 2022.


Fletcher said: "Vaibhav’s appointment is a huge step forward for us as we look towards starting production in the next couple of months. Already, he has been instrumental in streamlining elements of our production process, spearheading our wood management programme, and recruiting for our whisky operations team, and we look forward to his input in creating our exceptional new wave whisky."

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