June 7th – June 16th 2020

The Worshipful Company of Distillers announces an online Whisky Auction

The Worshipful Company of Distillers’ online charity auction will be held from June 7th through until June 16 , with all proceeds going to The Drinks Trust’s ‘Your Round’ appeal to support people of the drinks industry who are facing severe hardship as a result of Covid-19. The Drinks Trust has experienced a huge increase in demand for its services, with many individuals from the industry now in desperate need.

The Livery is appealing to anyone who has those special single bottles, cases, or casks to donate them to our charity auction. If you wish to participate, please contact Middle Warden Chris Porter at office@distillers.org.uk. Also, follow the on-line auction on https://Twitter.com/TWCDAuction and on our website at www.distillers.org.uk.

Kenny MacKay, Master of the Worshipful Company of Distillers, commented: “There has never been a time in history when the challenges facing our industry and its people has been greater. At every level in business we face unprecedented difficulties, particularly for the lower paid and the young. As part of a wider initiative by The Distillers’ Livery Company to support The Drinks Trust, this auction is a demonstration of us standing alongside our Trade in a time of great need. We are delighted to be able to help with our donations and the boost that the charity auction will give to the ‘Your Round’ appeal.”

Ross Carter, Chief Executive of The Drinks Trust, said: “We are grateful to have the support of the Distillers’ Charity in this time of crisis. It is heartening to know that the drinks industry is acting with solidarity to support colleagues who are less fortunate and facing hardship.”

Notes to the Editor

The Drinks Trust (Registered in England and Wales, charity number 1023376)

The Drinks Trust is the community organisation for the drinks industry, offering support and services to help its community thrive, to upskill, to broaden their knowledge, to network and to learn from one another. It will also be there to support them in challenging times, with wellbeing and financial assistance. https://www.drinkstrust.org.uk/coronavirus

The Distillers’ Livery Company would especially like to thank Sukhinder and Rajbir Singh and Whisky.Auction for their help in enabling this vital fundraising initiative to take place.

The Distillers’ Charity (registered in England and Wales, charity number 1038763)

Charitable giving lies at the heart of The Worshipful Company of Distillers’ purpose. The Distillers’ Charity was established in 1955. Our vision is to make a difference to young people by improving alcohol education, training and vocational opportunities and working with other Livery-related charitable causes, including within the drinks trade. https://www.distillers.org.uk/charity/

For all media enquiries, please contact Paul Finch at The Distillers’ Livery Communications on 07718 136146 or comms@distillers.org.uk

Visit to OnSide Youth Zone

In March, The Master, Renter Warden (Chris Porter) and IPM’s Bryan Burrough and Richard Watling had a first hand viewing at Future, the brand new facility to be opened by the charity OnSide Youth Zone for young people in Barking & Dagenham in April. 

Barking and Dagenham Youth Zone joins a network of Youth Zones across the country, with over 25,000 members enjoying facilities based in the Wirral, Wolverhampton, Manchester, Oldham, Wigan, Blackburn and Bolton.  

The Barking and Dagenham site is the first to open in London. Ranked the 3rd most deprived local authority in England, almost 1/3 of children in the borough live in low-income families. 1 in 10 adults are out of work in Barking & Dagenham – the highest unemployment rate of any London borough. 

37% of children live in poverty in Barking and Dagenham, 6th worst in London and young people there make up 21% of total population. 

The site, when open, will be a place where friendships can be forged and will be open seven days a week for young people to have use of a sports hall, music studio, boxing ring, and cooking facilities and quiet rooms for reading and discussion. The centre aims to teach young people new skills, help build friendships and provide support. They leave feeling confident and positive about their future, with renewed sense of belonging, place and purpose. 

Hosted by their indefatigable CEO, Gavin Evans, our Distillers Group’s tour were left in no doubt that the decision to support Future, the chosen charity of the Lord Mayor, was one that we should support and in turn give support to Future. A chance to help young people in one of London’s most deprived boroughs. A chance to fulfil potential away. 

Future Barking & Dagenham had it’s official opening by HRH Price Harry on April 11thwhich was attended by the Master in recognition of the Distillers Charity’s contribution.

We look forward to maintaining close links with Future and learning of the many positive stories that will emerge from it.       

The Scottish Charity Distillery Tour 2017

On a bright blustery day in early September, ten crews consisting of a Distiller and consort gathered at the historic and newly restored distillery of Annandale in the borders, for the start of a unique tour of new, restored and lesser known distilleries the length and breadth of Scotland. The brainchild of Liverymen Peter Mackay and Alex Bruce and designed to explore a range of the new distilleries of Scotland, we also had the chance to discover beautiful byways and exciting road passes in the splendour of the autumn colours.

Starting with the meticulously restored Annandale Distillery of Teresa Church and David Thomson in the Lowlands of Dumfriesshire, and ending with the traditional style of Aberfeldy we were also able to experience Francis Cuthbert’s one-man farm distillery of Daftmill of 100,000 litres on the same day as the vast new Chivas Bros Dulmenic, producing 10 million+, tour the very new and smart Ballindalloch of Guy Macpherson-Grant, the Victorian splendour of The GlenDronach on Speyside and the modernity of Kingsbarns in Fife and Aberargie in Perth and Kinross owned by our own Morrison family.

The relentless attention to quality, the passion for authenticity and historical accuracy, the patience of waiting for the spirit to mature into whisky and age appropriately were all very evident and highly encouraging for the future of the industry.

625 miles from the first of seven distilleries in three days tells only a tiny part of the story whereby we explored breath-taking and dramatic scenery across the Lowlands then up to the heights of the Glenshee passes, Tomintoul and the Lecht. Expert navigational skills were needed to stay on the right pathway. An impressive line-up of cars was another highlight of this amazing trip with PM Morrison’s achingly beautiful Bentley leading the concours for grace and luxury, PM Maxwell leading the symphony of sound in his burbling V8 Tiger, the Barratts’ Alvis purring contentedly, and the Master heading up the overseas contingent with his 1964 Porsche 356, usually making its presence felt with the characteristic air-cooled chatter. A short stop at Kilmany was the opportunity to pay homage to Jim Clark whose birth town, led by the grandfather of Peter Mackay, had erected a bronze statue of startling likeness to the great grand-prix driver himself.

To help our charitable endeavours the distillery owners were incredibly generous in the provision of free tours accommodation and meals, especially Brown-Forman and the GlenDronach with our stay at the Glen House. The Spanish lady really did appear to haunt the corridors in the depths of the night – not just the consequence of exuberant tasting of the wonderful malt on offer.

Finally, and wearily, we arrived for the grand finale at Broomhall, the family seat of the Earls of Elgin and Kincardine where a concours was staged to show off our pride and joys in front of the magnificent façade. Before dinner that night we were shown the schoolroom where the young Bruces were educated with selected friends from the village; it now houses the memorabilia of their two Viceroys of India – magnificent headgear and jewellery and fascinating letters from Queen Victoria among many others.

A delicious dinner preceded toasts and calls for ideas for future events – Islay and the western isles, the Shetlands and Hebrides were mooted; we worked hard at the plans while sampling the delicate malts of the Adelphi collection.

All too soon we were off to get some rest before preparing for the annual Livery Edinburgh dinner, of which more anon.

The Master