An independent boutique whisky, spirits & fine wine specialist based in Nailsworth in the South of the Cotswolds, Holy Spirits is the brainchild of Athila Roos. The shop focuses on offering sustainably made products (organic, biodynamic, B-Corp certified, sustainable farming and viticulture) as well as exceptional and singular expressions from distilleries around the world.
Trained as a sommelier, Athila has been in the drinks industry since 2005 and over the years has worked both in the on and off-trade, having completed 2 stints in Wine supplying businesses (at Bibendum Wines and Wine Source), 7 years as a Sommelier (Roka & Zuma restaurants, The Savoy Hotel, The Arts Club in London’s Mayfair) and 3 years as Private Client Director working for the family of Remy Martin. In 2019 he set up his own business, Wine Agent - looking after private clients and their fine wine & spirits collections and investments.
Athila’s passion for whiskies led to a rapidly expanding personal collection (some 400+ bottles) and this overflowed leading to the birth of Holy Spirits - a “temple” dedicated to exceptionally made whisky, fine wines & other spirits.
A few months after having made the move out of London and into the Cotswolds, Athila was walking around Cirencester when he saw an empty shop near St. John Baptist Church. It was an idyllic spot, right in the town centre. “That would make a lovely whisky shop & lounge… in the town centre, next to the church, selling spirits… Holy Spirits!”. A quick name search on Companies House revealed an empty spot that surely needed adoption. Divine intervention, perhaps? One year later that idea that “someone should have that whisky shop” became “I will create a whisky shop”. And instead of Cirencester (very pretty and lovely, but not as much as), Nailsworth. Et voila, Holy Spirits was born.
The brand logo showcases an encircled pot still (the tool responsible for distillation, where “the spirit” is created, or captured) inspired by the Triquetra, or Trinity Knot, an ancient Celtic symbol which is thought to be the oldest symbol of spirituality. It is depicted in the 9th century Book of Kells and also appears in Norwegian stave churches from the 11th century. Combining both its Irish and Scottish (the birth and home of Whisky) origins as well as nudging it's Viking roots made sense seeing that Athila’s surname, Roos, is of Norman origin (“Norman” came from “Norse Men”).