When you think of Scotland, you think of Scotch Whisky. Edinburgh holds the top three spots for most visited tourist attractions in Scotland, so you'd think that Edinburgh is a mecca for the single malt, especially with the Johnnie Walker Princes Street visitor centre, a vibrant food and drink scene and a ton of history related to the whisky industry. But no, Edinburgh hasn't had a single malt whisky distilled here in around 100 years.
Following on from our Distillery Spotlight feature in the Winter Edition of Taste Magazine, pioneering Scotch whisky brand, John Crabbie & Co, have announced their inaugural single malt release from its distillery in Edinburgh. Available from today, it will be in high demand with just 234 bottles entering the market.
This is huge, it's the first Single Malt to be produced in Edinburgh for almost 100 years. Chain Pier Single Malt will be the first release from the Granton-based site, which was set up by Halewood Artisanal Spirits as an experimental pilot distillery whilst their larger Bonnington distillery for Crabbie Whisky was still under construction.
Taste Magazine could not refuse a tasting session last night, ahead of the launch, where we got to sample the new release. Matured in heavily charred virgin oak casks and bottled at 57%, the Chain Pier Single Malt is light and fruity on the nose with hints of berries, forest fruits and green apples, boasting rich caramel and sweet malt and ginger spice on the palate, rounded off with a long, sweet and spicy finish and rich amber colour. With a little water added, the spicy notes soften and takes on a waxiness to be savoured.
James Stocker, at Halewood Artisanal Spirits told us; “The Chain Pier distillery in Granton, Edinburgh was operational for just a year (between 2018 and 19), yet it gave our team a great opportunity to continue John Crabbie’s legacy of innovation – handcrafting unique distillations and trialling everything from malt types to custom casks.
“The launch of the Chain Pier Single Malt is an incredibly exciting step in the John Crabbie & Co journey, as the Malt Whisky that we have crafted from start to finish at a site of our own. The quality of the liquid is really testament our distilling team and Master Blender Dr Kirstie McCallum, and a great preview of what’s to come from the Crabbie whisky brand”.
Over the year that the Chain Pier Distillery was operational, there was a yield of just under 40 casks, making this release one of the scarcest launches to date. It has all been distilled on site using a 500 litre copper pot still, and is available to order from specialist whisky shops at around £65.