About the Company

The Worshipful Company of Distillers’ is a Livery Company of the City of London

Royal Charter granted in 1638

There are currently 110 City Livery Companies, each numbered according to precedence, primarily based on the date of foundation. The Distillers’ Company is ranked number 69.


Coat of Arms

Company coat of arms

The Distillers’ Company’s arms were officially granted on March 18, 1639.

Official blazon (description):

  • Arms: Azure, a fesse wavy of water argent between in chief a sun or drawing up a cloud argent distilling drops of water proper and in base a distillatory double-armed or with two worms and bolt receivers argent.
  • Crest:  On a wreath argent and azure, A garb of barley or wreathed about with a vine branch vert bearing grapes proper. Mantled gules, doubled argent.
  • Supporters: On the dexter side a Russian and on the sinister side an Indian savage, each in his proper habit.
  • Motto: Drop as rain, distil as dew.

Explanation:

  • Arms:  The arms (i.e. the area within the shield) consist of the sun, with a cloud distilling drops of rain above a double armed still with two worms and receivers.
  • Crest:  The crest (which sits above the helmet) consists of a barley “garbe” wreathed by a vine branch bearing grapes.
  • Supporters: Supporters flank the shield.

Whilst the symbolism is unclear, the “Russian” is thought to represent Baltic rye and barley; and the “Indian savage” the source of the exotic “botanicals” (namely: cardamom, coriander seed and other herbs and spices) which were imported to Britain from the islands of the East Indies to be mixed with the spirit according to the distiller’s special recipe.