History: The Bonnington (John Crabbie & Co.) distillery was commissioned and constructed by the Halewood Artisanal Spirits Company on the site of a former coach works near to the site of the original Bonnington grain whisky distillery in Leith. Construction started in 2018, during which an experimental distillery was built in nearby Granton called the Chain Pier distillery. Towards the end of its construction, archeaological discoveries on the site delayed production but as of March 2020 Bonnington distillery is working 6 days per week with concessions made (no 24 hour operation and no production in Sundays) due to nearby residential land use. Further concessions to restrict noise output have been designed into the distillery. Production batches of 2.2 tonnes of barley are milled and mashed, fermented and distilled through their 10,000 litre wash and 7,500 litre spirit stills made by Copperworks in Speyside, with an anticipated output of 500,000 litres of alcohol per annum. Water is sourced via a bore hole for both production and cooling. The majority new make spirit is made from unpeated malt with a heavy & waxy character atypical for a Lowland distillery. Malt peated to 50ppm is used for ~ 8 weeks per season to generate peated new make spirit. Both new makes are being filled into a variety of casks including Bourbon, Sherry and Red wine varietals and warehoused on-site.

The Whiskyphiles tasting notes

Official Bottling
  • Bonnington New Make Spirit (peated) - Bonnington peated new make spirit, heavy and full-bodied in mouthfeel and retains the creamed barley nature, the sweetness here is paired with nuttiness and dry peat smoke.
  • Bonnington New Make Spirit (unpeated) - Bonnington unpeated new make spirit, heavy and full-bodied in mouthfeel but with a lovely creamed barley nature, sweet but not overtly fruity. A distinct signature/character for Bonnington distillate.