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Ian Macleod buys Edinburgh Gin maker

Ian Macleod Distillers, maker of the Glengoyne, Tamdhu and Smokehead Scotch brands, has acquired Edinburgh Gin producer Spencerfield Spirit Company for an undisclosed sum.

Alex Nicol (left), founder of Spencerfield Spirit Company, and Leonard Russell (right), managing director of Ian Macleod Distillers
Alex Nicol (left), founder of Spencerfield Spirit Company, and Leonard Russell (right), managing director of Ian Macleod Distillers

Ian Macleod has acted as the exclusive distributor of Edinburgh Gin and Spencerfield Spirit’s whisky range, including Pig’s Nose, Sheep Dip and The Feathery, in the UK for a number of years.

All brands within Spencerfield Spirit’s portfolio will be transferred to Ian Macleod with immediate effect, but production of Edinburgh Gin will continue at the brand’s distillery and visitor centre on Rutland Place in Edinburgh and at its second site at The Biscuit Factory in Leith.

Edinburgh Gin was established in 2010 under the Spencerfield Spirit Company, owned by Alex and Jane Nicol, who will continue to work with the brands during a transition period.

“This announcement is great news for both companies and further strengthens our portfolio of premium spirit brands,” said Leonard Russell, managing director at Ian Macleod Distillers.

“Spencerfield Spirit Company and Ian Macleod Distillers are both family-run businesses, with firm commitments to quality spirit production.

“Edinburgh Gin will be a great addition to our existing brand portfolio which includes Glengoyne, Tamdhu, Smokehead and Isle of Skye whiskies and Atlantico Rum.

“Edinburgh Gin is a multi-award winning, small-batch gin at the forefront of the gin renaissance in the UK.  We are eager to build upon this foundation and the success of the Nicol family.”

Ian Macleod will secure all current jobs at Spencerfield Spirit and plans to make further investment in its portfolio.

“The acquisition came along at the right time for Spencerfield Spirit,” said Alex Nicol. “We have built a solid partnership with Ian Macleod Distillers over the last three years and feel they are in an excellent position to take forward Edinburgh Gin and the Spencerfield Spirit portfolio.

“We look forward to working with them over the coming months to ensure a smooth transition and to maintain the momentum in growth.

“Ian Macleod Distillers is the perfect home for Edinburgh Gin’s future. The company shares our family values and artisanal approach to production and we look forward to working with them to maximise its potential.”

In May this year, Ian Macleod secured a £60m business loan from a consortium of banks to finance its growth strategy.

The company sells more than 15m bottles of spirits annually and is the 10th largest Scotch whisky company. It has a turnover of £60.5m and employs 111 people across its two distilleries in Glengoyne and Tamdhu, and head office in Broxburn.

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