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Linlithgow Distillery sale: "We've had 20 expressions of interest already"

The owners of the thriving craft distillery have put the business on the market.

Published: March 20, 2023

Established in 2017, Linlithgow Distillery was created due to owners Ross and Alyson Jamieson's long-held desire to revive spirit-making in the ancient Royal Burgh of Linlithgow.

The couple decided to come out of retirement after selling their IT business and embark upon a new venture.

In 2018, LinGin, a London dry gin was launched. The gin was created with the assistance of a local tasting panel of 119 residents and the main botanical, Meadowsweet, was foraged locally from the canal bank and Lochside.

Since then the distillery has gone from strength to strength, and launched a new-look packaging design in 2021.

But now, Ross and Alyson have decided to sell up, announcing the decision via their social media earlier this month. While it may have come as a surprise to many, Ross Jamieson explained that the couple are looking to get their work life balance back.

Ross said: "We've been doing it six years now, I'm going to be 60 this year. Last year we were doing this six days a week, and have scaled back to five days but this was never meant to be a full time job.

"The idea was, when we sold our previous business, we would do this for a bit of fun and maybe make a wee bit of money but it was ended up being a full time job that goes into our social life.

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"For us to take it forward, it needs some investment. We've done well to get it where it is, but to move forward it needs investment and we're not in the position to be able to do it and to be honest, we just don't have the energy."

It's not secret the Scotland's drinks industry us facing some challenges this year, including the deposit return scheme and the proposed alcohol marketing ban. Ross cited these as 'aggravation points' but they're not the reasons that the Jamison's are selling up.

Linlithgow Distillery
Pic Alan Richardson.

The business, which has a four star rating from Visit Scotland, had 20 notes of interest when we spoke to Ross, and when asked who his dream buyer would be, he laughed and said: "Someone who gives us the money we want.

"Joking aside, we don't want to brand to disappear, so someone who knows the brand, values it, can buy into it and take it forward."

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What does Linlithgow Distillery produce?

Linlithgow Distillery produce premium LinGins - navy strength, London Dry, cask aged gin, fruit gins and a mulled gin; a range of “Four Marys” flavoured gins inspired by the four ladies-in-waiting to Mary Queen of Scots, as well as vodkas.

In 2019 the distillery doubled the size of its premises and turnover in the first year and invested in a new 500-litre still (named Scotty, after Star Trek character Montgomery 'Scotty' Scott), due to a growth assistance grant and support from Business Gateway West Lothian.

The sale of the distillery would include all brand assets, including the company’s two stills, Scotty and a 100-litre still called Gleann Iucha, which translates to mean ‘Linlithgow’ in Gaelic.

For more information on the distillery, visit their website.

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Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne, whisky and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind is the Food and Drink Editor and whisky writer for The Scotsman, as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.

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