Holyrood Distillery is the result of the vision of Canadians Rob and Kelly Carpenter in collaboration with Scot David Robertson. Together they share a love for Edinburgh, Scotch whisky and interesting challenges.

During the journey to build Holyrood Distillery, Rob, Kelly and David assembled a team of like-minded people to form the teams in charge of distilling, the visitor experience and operations.

Rob carpenter

Rob has 27 years of practice as legal counsel and senior executive business experience, and he and Kelly together founded and operate the Canadian branch of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society.

David Robertson

David was born into the distilling industry and has 25 years experience working for Diageo, The Edrington Group, Whyte & MacKay and then co-founding Rare Whisky 101.

Jack Mayo

Jack, our Head Distiller, is a rocket scientist having obtained his doctorate in astrophysics before switching careers to a more down to earth subject and taking his Bachelors in Brewing & Distilling at  Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh.

debs newman

Debs is our Visitor Experience Director and brings vast experience with all things related to developing and running a visitor experience. Her other roles include the V&A Dundee, Edinburgh Zoo and the Houses of Parliament at Westminster (no comparison between the last two being intended!).

kelly Carpenter

Kelly is the co-founder and Director of Operations of the Canadian branch of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society and brings 25 years in guest services and customer relations.

Ian Gemmell

Ian has joined us as Finance Manager. An experienced accountant, he brings varied experience from several previous roles in the energy and other industries. As a whisky enthusiast, he ‘gets’ our flavour ethos – we are not driving for distilling efficiency by using the same malts and yeasts and barrels others do to keep our product costs low; we are driving for flavour, and that might cost a bit more.

ollie salvesen

Ollie is the first distiller we’ve brought on to work with Jack. A grad of Heriot-Watt, he is our kind of distiller; creative and happy to try anything once (or maybe twice) in pursuit of flavour. He’s been great at jumping into whatever’s needed in our all-hands-on-deck startup.


We're often hiring for new roles, do you think you'd fit the bill at Holyrood Distillery? Join us in our pursuit of fantastic flavour and check out our current vacancies!