John Crabbie & Co plans to build a new single malt whisky distillery in Leith, Edinburgh, reviving one of the most famous brand names in Scotch whisky.

Crabbie parent company, Halewood Wines & Spirits has announced plans to invest more than £7m in a new Scotch whisky distillery in Leith, Edinburgh, the original home of the Crabbie brand, which was established in 1801. Expected to open in early 2019, this will be the first single malt distillery to open in the city for more than 100 years and brings significant investment and employment to the area.

For more than two centuries the Crabbie name has been a much loved and enduring Edinburgh drinks brand. Most recently it has been associated with Crabbie’s, the number one selling alcoholic ginger beer, but the real history of the Crabbie name lies in Scotch whisky.

John Crabbie was a pioneer, who built his brand around the idea of improving the quality of Scotch whisky. He gained a reputation for selecting the best casks available from over 70 distilleries from all around Scotland, to sell under the Crabbie nae, sometimes blending them to improve their flavour and exporting them throughout the world, even as far as New Zealand.

His visionary approach led to the creation of the North British grain distillery in Edinburgh, a business that is still thriving today. With the decline of the Scotch whisky industry and of the once burgeoning port of Leith during the 20th century, the Crabbie whisky brand, like so many others, disappeared and Edinburgh lost its status as the capital of Scotch whisky.

Commenting on the investment plans David Brown, managing director said, “We are delighted to announce our plans to invest in the creation of a new distillery in Leith. It’s particularly pleasing that it will bear the name of John Crabbie, surely one of Edinburgh’s most legendary sons.

“The site we have chosen in Leith has historical links with Scotch whisky production and maturation dating back over 200 years and we hope it will contribute to the rising prosperity of the area with the creation of new jobs and through attracting additional visitors to the city. With the growing popularity of Scotch whisky around the world the time is right to rediscover the Crabbie whisky brand and to put Edinburgh firmly back on the Scotch whisky map. ”

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