HOMEMADE is the whisky we've aspired to create since we first learned about Leith's proud history as a thriving whisky hub during the golden era of whisky blending.
Choosing to base ourselves here was a deliberate decision. Our tiny studio is nestled amidst the architectural remnants of an industry that outgrew its roots and, in moving on, likely left some of its essence behind. The whisky industry’s transition during a period of consolidation and industrialization stripped Leith of a key industry, jobs, and, for those who recall it, a certain sense of pride in witnessing something 'made in Leith' being shared with the world. This tectonic shift, in hindsight, possibly took more from whisky than from Leith; the relocated brands lacked the foundational element that many whiskies today consider essential – a sense of place.
As blenders, place is a subject we ponder frequently. We couldn’t be more excited about the resurgence of distilling in the vicinity, epitomized by Crabbies Bonnington Distillery and more recently The Port of Leith’s hugely exciting milestones. Leith's whisky pulse is getting stronger. However, whisky in Leith predominantly revolved around blends – components for Leith’s compositions were sourced from various corners of Scotland, playing a role in weaving the fabric of this place.
Years of cultural exploration and serendipitous discoveries led us to archives and blending books from lost Leith blending houses. Old bottles were tracked down and shared, and engaging in discussions revealed a tapestry of diversity, leaving us with more questions than answers.
Nevertheless, through residing (Nick) and laboring (Pete) in Leith, we unraveled the threads connecting past and present – appreciating the invisible synergies between history and modernity, with contemporary industries now filling the old whisky buildings, ourselves, and the future. HOMEMADE gradually emerged not as a historical reenactment, but rather as a contemporary creation reflecting the essence of present-day Leith and its impact on shaping us.
We worked diligently on the formulation, selecting a pair of Speyside distilleries referenced in blending literature and sourcing grain whisky from Edinburgh’s esteemed North British Distillery. We agonized over selecting two types of Sherry Cask for the marrying vessels, honoring Leith's maritime role in forging the Sherry-Whisky connection.
Like the neighborhood that inspires it, we wanted HOMEMADE to feel straightforward, amiable, yet robust and hardworking when mixed. So rather than adding complexity through layering numerous whiskies, we prioritized simplicity and the element we felt was missing from so many blender's priority lists: FLAVOR! A much-loved and renowned Leith Blend (BNJ) boasted the highest malt content of any blend at around 60%, so 'HOMEMADE,' in our eyes, had to be malt-forward (it comes in at just over 70%!)
HOMEMADE mirrors the vibrancy of contemporary Leith, capturing the interplay of tradition and innovation, a juxtaposition of old and new, near and far, familiar and diverse, much like the emerging Leith that bridges cultures. Our blending techniques draw inspiration from Japanese whisky artistry, French Cognac mastery, and in its own way, that feels very Leith. So while HOMEMADE feels very specific, the beauty of its meaning lies in the universal.
We hope you share and enjoy our love letter to modern Leith and the art of whisky blending.