English Whisky Company – Distillery Visit

English Whisky Company – Distillery Visit

The Master’s introduction to The English Whisky Company

I was warmly welcomed by Liveryman Andrew Nelstropp and his team at The English Whisky Company in Roudham, Norfolk on January 19th, the second of twelve distillery visits that I’m doing in my year to raise awareness and funding for our 350th Anniversary Appeal.

Lucy Marcuson from The Drinks Trust explains how the charity uses their funds

Accompanied by Lucy Marcuson from The Drinks Trust, one of our Distillers Charity partners, Andrew kindly took the time to tour us around the site and explain the farming, brewing and distilling history of the Nelstropp family. Andrew is co-founder and Chairman of today’s business, with a thriving production of whiskies with no shortage of consumers.

Andrew Nelstropp and the Master talk about the English Whisky Company

The footage below shows Andrew bottling a special bottle of English Malt, from Bourbon cask, and kindly donated to my Master’s Case for the 350. He has also kindly agreed to donate £1,000 on selected bottles with the 350th Distillers logo to come to our Appeal

I would like to extend my thanks to Andrew for his generosity of time, money and spirit !

The exclusive bottling!

East London Liquor Co – Distillery Visit

I was so thrilled to get my 350th Anniversary Appeal distillery visits underway at The East London Liquor Company. They were wonderful hosts and thanks to founder, Alex Wolpert for his kind hospitality and welcome.

I thoroughly enjoyed tasting their new 2021 East London Liquor Co Single Malt.

They have very kindly agreed to support to my Master’s 350th Anniversary Appeal by way of contributions from future bottle sales in 2022. This is just magnificent support and a great way to kick off our 350th Anniversary celebrations!

Alex Wolpert, ELLC CEO

To find out more about the 350th Appeal, why we’re doing it, who it’s helping and how you can donate or get involved with fundraising for it please visit the dedicated page on the website: distillers.org.uk/charity/350-appeal

Gavin Evans, Future Youth Zones

Onto the next one … !

Chris Porter
Master 2021-2022

The Alcohol Education Trust opens a new community hub

The Master attended the official opening of the Pavilion in the Park (PiP), the new headquarters of one of our key charity partners, the Alcohol Education Trust (AET) on Monday 6th December.

He was honoured to meet HRH Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, who was the guest of honour and presided over the opening ceremony, unveiling the new building.

The Master met with the staff and trustees of the Alcohol Education Trust in the new community room and cafe, gaining further insight and updates into it’s work keeping young people age 11- 25 safe around alcohol and the dangers of drug abuse.

For more information about the Trust and the impact that funding from The Distillers is having, please read more here:

About AET – Alcohol Education Trust

2020_progress_report_web.pdf (alcoholeducationtrust.org)

The Worshipful Company of Distillers kicks-off major knowledge sharing initiative

The Worshipful Company of Distillers has recently launched an educational programme aimed at sharing the Livery’s considerable commercial and marketing knowledge with young distillers. This follows the recent announcement by the Company to dedicate charitable investment to the next generation of young distillers who might benefit from our support. The first step of the programme has been the creation of “The Business of Spirits”, a Masterclass in partnership with the Institute of Brewing & Distilling.

The first session, held in October at the offices of the WSET, (Wine &Spirit Education Trust) was attended by 18 students all studying the IBD’s Master, Diploma and General Certificate courses. The Masterclass is aimed to complement technical knowledge with a high-level of commercial acumen.

The one-day interactive seminar brought together spirits industry leaders, City analysts and senior industry executives. They shared stories, anecdotes, skills and expertise to explain the elements needed for a Spirits business to succeed in a competitive global market place. Students learnt about global markets, structure and companies, category and consumer segmentation, pricing, finance, and branding and innovation.

The day, of course, included some fun tasting of spirits from around the globe!

We have such rich knowledge, skills and experience in the Livery that it seems only natural it should be shared with the next generation. Our partners are brilliant at teaching distilling, and with our members knowledge we are enriching the curriculum and broadening the students understanding of how business works.

Martin Riley, The Worshipful Company of Distillers

“What a phenomenal experience to hear from people who have actually made it happen “

“The best seminar I have attended since I started my course”

“What a great day”

Students From the day

Many of the IBD members and candidates are in roles where they are either entrepreneurial, if working for themselves, or ‘intrapreneurial’ if working in a product development environment within a larger company. This collaboration with the WCD has provided them with an insight to the commercial acumen needed to support the technical knowledge acquired through our qualifications. It was exciting to hear about the projects that some of these candidates are developing and taking into the market, opening their own distilleries, and bringing to life all of their learning. “The Business of Spirits” has been a great way to provide with extra support to help them succeed in the industry.

Jerry Avis, IBD Chief Executive Officer

The WCD one-day seminars will be rolled out across the country with our educational partners, the Institute of Brewing and Distilling (IBD), The Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) and the International Centre for Brewing and Distilling (ICBD) at Herriot Watt University.

The Cognac 350

The Distillers Velo Club to cycle 350 Miles for our 350th Anniversary and The Distillers Charity
The Distillers’ Velo Club

The Distillers’ Velo Club was informally founded in 2020 with the creation of The Distillers’ 500 charity cycle which took place in September 2020.    This event saw 7 riders, led by IPM, Kenny Mackay, cycle 500 miles from Auchterarder to Mansion House over 7 days (supported by Kathy Mackay and Jonathan Driver), raising over £40,000 for Onside Youth Zone in Barkham and Dagenham.

In July 2021, another group of 7 DVC riders – including 5 from The Distillers 500 ride – took part in “The Master’s Challenge 2021 -The Longest Day”, a 134 mile cycle around Perthshire in a single day, and raised £21,000 which was split between Girl Guiding in Perthshire and Onside Youth Zone in Barkham and Dagenham.

The Master catching his breath at one of the ride’s beneficiaries

As part of the 350th anniversary celebrations of the Company being granted “livery” status, we are an audacious charity cycle tour – The Cognac 350 – starting at Mansion House, London, and finishing at the Town Hall in Cognac, France – some 350 miles away – whilst raising £40,000 for charity!  

The purpose of The Cognac 350 covers three distinct areas that align with the aims and objectives of the Worshipful Company of Distillers:

Charity – raising £40,000 for good causes in line with The Distiller’s Charity objectives.   In the coming months we will finalise the charities that will benefit from The Cognac 350 but it is likely that Onside Youth Zone in Barking and Dagenham will be at least one of the beneficiaries.

Industry – as an outcome of the tour, we hope to be able to establish strong links to the distilling industry in Cognac.   On the last day of the tour there will be an opportunity to visit Cognac distillers we are also planning a “gala dinner” in Cognac on the final evening.

Fellowship – as those that took part in The Distillers 500, we hope to create lasting friendships and memories for those liverymen participating in the tour through the shared endeavour of a cycling challenge and having the opportunity to sample local drinks and cuisine along the way.

The outline tour details are set out below but will be finalised in the coming months and will also be dependent on the number of riders that sign up.

  • May 25 – 31st May/1st June 2022
  • 6/7 day tour (5 days cycling (circa 60/70 miles per day) and a half in Cognac)
  • Up to 20 riders (meaning 5 riding groups of 4)
  • 2/3 Support crew (incl. minibus driver)
  • Route – subject to detailed route planning
  • Likely cost, per rider, to participate will be in the region of £800 – £1000.

We are now looking for expressions of interest from Liveryman and friends to take part in this exciting adventure and one or two Liverymen to take the lead on the detailed planning.    If you are interested in taking part or helping to take the lead on the planning, please contact Kenny Mackay and James Higgins.

Kenny Mackay
Immediate Past Master

James Higgins
Court Assistant

The launch of The Distillers’ Charity “One Of One” Auction, supported by Sotheby’s

Earlier this summer, The Distillers’ Charity and Sotheby’s announced a six-year partnership to host three biennial auctions of ultra-rare and unique Scotch whiskies and experiences under the name “The Distillers One of One”. The first Distillers One of One auction – comprising one-off, never-to-be-repeated lots specially created and donated by companies from across the Scotch Whisky industry – will take place on Friday 3 December 2021. The exceptional lots are now being revealed for the first time and will range in estimates from around £1,500 upwards to £500,000, all to be offered without reserve. Each lot has been carefully selected to showcase the excellence in craftsmanship, innovation and value of Scotch Whisky.

For the most serious collectors seeking an opportunity to own a piece of liquid history, some truly astonishing releases have been made available. Of particular note, as the highest valued lot of the auction, with an estimate of £350,000-£500,000, is a Talisker Cask of Distinction 1978. Casks of Distinction are selected on account of their outstanding quality, and this is the first ever to be offered at auction, paired with a cask-end that has been turned into an original work of art by Turner Prize nominee Callum Innes. After further ageing in the cask for up to five more years, the whisky will be housed in very special bottles and wooden presentation boxes, featuring the cask-end artwork of Callum Innes; another first for Casks of Distinction.

William Grant & Sons is providing three lots from Glenfiddich, The Balvenie and Ladyburn, all exceeding fifty years of age. Glenfiddich’s exceptional offering comprises four unique decanters – created especially for the auction and housed in a bespoke presentation case – from the 1950s: 1955, 1957, 1958 and 1959. The estimate for this ultra-rare collector’s piece is £220,000-350,000.

Glenfiddich 1950s Lot

Beam Suntory are generously offering two lots, one from Bowmore, the other from Glen Garioch.

The Bowmore Onyx is an exceptionally rare and unique 51 Year Old single malt presented in a hand carved, bespoke black glass vessel, inspired by the terroir of the island home of Islay. Matured in a refill hogshead barrel from 1970, this whisky is bottled at 47% ABV, and is the first ever 51 Year Old released by Bowmore Distillery (estimate £100,000-180,000).

The Glen Garioch Cask lot features two full casks of whisky: the first, a 31-year-old cask from 1990; the second, an en primeur cask distilled in 2021 (estimate £100,000-150,000). The last time that Glen Garioch was distilled using direct fire on the stills was 31 years ago. The practice of direct firing is now being reintroduced and this will be the very first cask from the newly fired stills, making this a unique lot of historical significance.

Scotland’s Oldest Working Distillery, The Glenturret, is providing an exclusive Lalique decanter bottling containing a unique Single Malt whisky selected from 1987 Sherry casks created by Master Blender, Bob Dalgarno. To house this precious liquid, Lalique have created a spectacular One of One hand-blown decanter in green crystal; the rarest that is made. Included in this lot (estimate £15,000-25,000) is an invitation to The Glenturret Distillery to enjoy a sensational gastronomic experience, led by Head Chef, Mark Donald at the newly opened Lalique Restaurant.

Glenturret Distillery

On offer from Gordon & MacPhail, the 126-year-old family business, is an unforgettable, bespoke visit to Elgin in Scotland. The lucky recipient will not only tour the historical warehouses but also sample from a selection of maturing Single Malt casks from the 1940s and 1950s. After choosing their favourite of the casks, one bottle of the whisky it contains will be filled into a unique decanter, with a second bottle provided for drinking. This once in a lifetime experience carries an estimate of £80,000-160,000.

The Distillers’ Charity is the philanthropic arm of The Worshipful Company of Distillers. Proceeds from The Distillers One of One auction will benefit The Youth Action Fund, which has been created by The Distillers’ Charity focusing on supporting disadvantaged young people in Scotland, transforming their life chances and empowering them to create positive change in their lives and communities. Working with charity partners who offer education and training programmes, the fund will provide young people with opportunities to develop life skills, discover their values and be work-ready.

“The generosity the Scotch Whisky industry has shown in coming together to create these truly unique lots available for this landmark sale has been humbling. Countless young people will benefit for years to come, thanks to the results of the auction. It is a testament to the spirit of the people who work within both the family-owned businesses, and global companies that have contributed to this momentous occasion. We cannot thank enough all those who have come on board with us and Sotheby’s to help realise our mission, and to all the collectors who will be taking part on the day.”

Jonathan Driver, Master of The Worshipful Company of Distillers

“This landmark sale, compiling such significant donations from so many world-renowned brands, shows the strength of community spirit in the Scotch Whisky industry. To bring this number of exceptional whiskies to auction, from unique bottles to rare casks offers, and all for a good cause, is reason enough to raise a glass to everyone involved.”

Jonny Fowle, Sotheby’s Spirits Specialist

The Distillers’ One of One Auction of Ultra-Rare Scotch Whisky

Barnbougle Castle ©Rosebery Venues


Sotheby’s and The Distillers’ Charity Announce Partnership to Host Three Auctions of Ultra-Rare and Unique Scotch Whisky and Experiences

The Distillers’ Charity and Sotheby’s today announce a six-year partnership to host three biennial auctions of ultra-rare and unique Scotch whiskies and experiences under the name “The Distillers One of One”. The first Distillers’ One of One auction – comprising one-off, never-to-be-repeated lots specially created and donated by leading Scotch Whisky distilleries – will take place at Barnbougle Castle on the outskirts of Edinburgh on Friday 3 December 2021. There will be over 40 lots, which will showcase the excellence in craftsmanship, innovation and value of Scotch Whisky, ranging in estimates upwards to £250,000.

The Distillers’ Charity is the philanthropic arm of The Worshipful Company of Distillers. Proceeds from the One of One auction will benefit a fund, which has been created by The Distillers’ Charity focusing on supporting disadvantaged young people in Scotland, transforming their life chances and empowering them to create positive change in their lives and communities. Working with charity partners, the Youth Action Fund will provide young people with opportunities to develop life skills, discover their values and be work-ready.

The Prince’s Foundation’s President, HRH The Prince of Wales, Duke of Rothesay, has sent The Distiller’s Charity a warm message of support saying how pleased he was that the combined forces of the Scotch Whisky industry were standing alongside each other to benefit countless young people and provide them with the tools they require to become vital members of their communities.

Jonathan Driver, Master of The Worshipful Company of Distillers, said: “Our ties with the Scotch Whisky Industry have been invaluable in creating this landmark sale, and the generosity shown has been overwhelming. Across the spectrum of the industry from independents to family-owned and global companies, we have come together in a collective endeavour to support the youth of today in Scotland through practical training and education. We are also delighted to have Sotheby’s on board to help with our philanthropic mission which will have far-reaching benefits for decades to come.”

Jamie Ritchie, Worldwide Head of Sotheby’s Wine and Spirits, commented: “Working closely with The Distillers’ Charity and The Worshipful Company of Distillers, we will harness our knowledge and expertise in hosting auctions to create a regular series of sales that will not only shine a light on the Scotch Whisky industry but also raise valuable funds to support disadvantaged young people in Scotland.”

Further information about the contents of The Distillers One of One will be distributed by Sotheby’s and The Distillers’ Charity in the autumn.


The Worshipful Company of Distillers is excited and proud to present a rare opportunity to acquire a bottle of the legendary Karuizawa Distillery’s Five Decades whisky. This sale has only been possible thanks to the incredible generosity of this donation from Liverymen David Croll and Marcin Miller of the Kyoto Distillery in Japan.

Karuizawa’s ‘five decades’

Karuizawa – Five Decades Cased

A bottle of Karuizawa Five Decades, a single malt made with whiskies distilled between 1960 and 2000. The whiskies were married in an ex-Karuizawa cask before bottling. This intricately engraved bottle was released in 2015 exclusively for Isetan department store and is presented in a lockable presentation box.

Karuizawa was founded in 1955 and was Japan’s smallest whisky distillery. In 1959, it became the first Japanese distillery to export whisky overseas. Karuizawa distillery stopped production in 2000 and closed for good in 2011.

Karuizawa – Five Decades bottle view

Proceeds of the auction will be for The Distillers’ Charity and its ongoing support for the Lord Mayors Appeal, for Future Youth Zone Barking & Dagenham, helping disadvantaged young people in one of London’s most deprived boroughs. https://www.thelordmayorsappeal.org/

A huge debt of thanks is also owed to Sukhinder Singh, Isabel Graham-Yooul and their team at Whisky.Auction for enabling the sale on their Charity Platform.

We are sure that this significant item will stimulate a great deal of interest 

The opportunity to acquire it begins on Sunday May 2nd at https://whisky.auction/charity and is open for bids until Tuesday May 11th

Good Luck … and Thank You ! 

Karuizawa – Five Decades