May 18, 2024

Iain McClune, a Scottish whisky and spirits entrepreneur, enthusiast, and former Royal Mile Whiskies employee, has agreed the purchase of Scotland’s leading independent specialist whisky business, Royal Mile Whiskies.
Royal Mile Whiskies sits under the Dormant Distillery Company (DDC) alongside Drinkmonger and The Cigar Box.  They will all be retained, owned and operated in Scotland as part of the deal.
McClune, who worked at Royal Mile Whiskies for nearly a decade, becomes the second ex-employee to return as owner of the business.  The acquisition will be made through Vintage Saga, McClune’s investment company which includes Whisky Auctioneer, Wine Auctioneer, Rum Auctioneer and Bright Spirits.
Keir Sword, founder of DDC, commented:  “I am delighted to pass the business over to Iain who as a former employee shares my affection for the business and understands the importance of our fantastic team of drinks enthusiasts. As a former employee who myself returned to buy Royal Mile Whiskies it is greatly satisfying to pass the baton on to one of our own, who shares my vision for the business and I trust to carry on our values.
“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.
“They inherit not only the wonderful staff, but a very supportive bunch of suppliers and loyal customers to all of whom I send my huge thanks for their contribution over the past quarter century. I wish Iain, Arthur and all of the team my very best for a bright future, and shall continue to cheer you all on from the sidelines.”
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.
Iain McClune, founder of Vintage Saga, said: “I echo Keir’s values and understand his vision for the future of the Dormant Distillery Company. The team at DDC is  what makes it so unique and I am excited to be a part of it again.
“Vintage Saga and DDC are both independent Scottish companies with the same knowledge-centric approach and people-first culture, with committed and passionate employees who contribute hugely to the success of the businesses.
“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. 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.”
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