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Famous Edinburgh Scotch retailer Royal Mile Whiskies acquired by former employee

Edinburgh based Scotch whisky merchant Royal Mile Whiskies as been acquired by one of its employees. 

Royal Mile Whiskies Keir Sword with new owner Iain McClune

Scottish whisky and spirits entrepreneur, and former Royal Mile Whiskies employee, Iain McClune, has purchased the independent specialist whisky business from the Dormant Distillery Company (DDC) through his investment company Vintage Saga, which already owns Whisky Auctioneer, Wine Auctioneer, Rum Auctioneer and Bright Spirits.

As part of the deal, DDC’s sister ventures, wine and spirit shop Drinkmonger in Edinburgh and Pitlochery and Edinburgh cigar specialist, The Cigar Box, have also been purchased and will continue to be run independently.

McClune, who worked at Royal Mile Whiskies for nearly a decade, becomes the second ex-employee to return as owner of the business, following DDC’s founder, Keir Sword.

Sword said he was delighted to pass the baton over to to Iain who shared his affection and vision for the business and understands the importance of its team of drinks enthusiasts.

“The fact the business retains its independent spirit but at the same time gains the backing and support of the equally enthusiastic and talented team at Vintage Saga, makes it a very exciting time for DDC,” he said.

Arthur Motley, who has worked alongside Sword for more than 20 years, will become DCC’s managing director.

As part of Vintage Saga, DDC will continue to operate independently as its own entity, and also independently from other businesses within the group.  It will  benefit from Vintage Saga’s knowledge, expertise, relationships and reputation which will support its continued growth.  Arthur Motley, who has worked alongside Keir Sword for over 20 years, will become Managing Director of DDC.

McClune said it was the team at DDC that made it “so unique” and he was excited to be a part of it again.

“Exciting times are ahead and I am particularly pleased to be inheriting such a great team as they will be crucial to the ongoing success and future growth of the DDC brands,” he said. “Under Keir’s tenure, Royal Mile Whiskies has become recognised as one of the great independent UK whisky merchants and this reputation is exactly what we look forward to building with all at DDC.”

Since it was founded in 1991, Royal Mile Whiskies has evolved and pioneered new avenues, selling specialist and rare whiskies around the world. “They have not just sold whisky, they have educated, entertained, and advised about it – and other spirits – because they care deeply about what they are selling,” Dave Broom, drinks writer and author of The World Atlas of Whisky and Whisky; The Manual said.



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