The Distillers Charity present Velo Club Fundraising Efforts

The Distillers Charity present Velo Club Fundraising Efforts

A visit to the Mansion House is always special and today was especially so when we presented a cheque for £20,000 raised by the Velo Club and Livery in support of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme to the Lord Mayor Prof Michael Mainelli for the Lord Mayor’s Appeal.

You always know when the charities we support have caught the imagination of the Livery, when members get on their bikes and pedal for all they are worth to raise money and the Livery comes in to support them. Chapeau, or helmet at least, to David Wilson his daughter Natasha, our esteemed chairman Grant Gordon, Kenny and Kathy Mackay and
their friends who jumped on their touring bikes and battled through the wind and rain of southern Spain from Toledo to Jerez. We did not discover the identity of their weather forecaster but did get to meet Martin Howard, Rosie Batstone, and the ambassadors from the DofE who told us of the great experience they had had achieving their awards and helping them with their confidence and preparation for university.

Half-way through their Mayoral year now and thoroughly enjoying their time in office we wish them well and thank them for their time and hospitality in a very busy schedule. Thanks to David for flying in from Scotland to represent the Velo 8 and to Julia Thorold for wielding her Canon with customary skill to get the pics. We hope to see them all again soon maybe at the City Giving Day ride round the City on September 24th.

Richard Watling
City and Livery Grants

The Master’s Case For The 350 – A Thank You!

The Master’s ‘Case for the 350’, auctioned in December, was acquired for £750 by one generous bidder. A big thank you, then, to our anonymous benefactor and we hope you enjoy ownership of the Case and, most importantly, it’s contents in the coming months!

The idea of the Master’s Case, from my year 2021-2022, was more than just about raising money for the Distiller’s Charity. Our charity partners, the Drinks Trust and the Alcohol Education Trust will specifically benefit from the money that was raised.

The Case and the collecting of the bottles during a year which saw our industry re-emerging from lockdowns and hospitality once again being open for business, gave us cause for celebration.

Visiting as many regions of the country as possible, meeting and speaking with the talented individuals and companies who produce and promote the products we so enjoy, seemed an obvious way for the Distiller’s support to the UK spirits industry.

I wish to thank again the 12 distilleries who donated the bottles for the Case which not only raised funds for our Charity but also highlighted the importance and value that we as a Livery attach to the relationship to the industry that the Worshipful Company of Distillers represents.

Thank you for all your support to me with the Masters Case for the 350.

The Master’s Case For The 350th

2022 was a year like no other. To be Master of the Worshipful Company of Distillers in 2022 was a huge honour. A milestone for our Company, 350 years since being granted our Livery by the Alderman of the Corporation of the City of London in 1672.

Our own Honorary Court Assistant, Alderman Vincent Keaveny becoming only the second member of the Worshipful Company of Distillers and the first Irishman, acceding to the Mayoralty.

A year when the nation was emerging from two years of enforced periods of lockdown. It was possible to once again engage with fellow members of the Livery and the wider spirits trade’s. Scotland.

As Master I decided that we should mark this by ‘getting out there’ and committed to visiting one distillery each month of my Year. 12 distilleries, 6 in England, 6 in Scotland, not only to celebrate our industry’s robust survival through two years of hardship, but, too, of it’s people and it’s products.

A chance also to focus on the purpose of the Worshipful Company of Distiller’s charity, to spread the message, to learn of the of the incredible impact that our charitable and philanthropic work is having.

Thank you again to all the Distilleries that I visited, who so generously donated bottles, each visit all experiences that I shall never forget.

The Case for the 350th will be auctioned at Whisky.Auction and we thank Emily Webster and her colleagues for generously providing this platform for our Charity.

It will go live at Whisky.Auction on Sunday November 26th and will remain open for bids until Tuesday 5th December.

This is a unique opportunity to acquire a unique case – full of some of the greatest names that the UK spirits industry has to offer. The money raised will go towards the continuing work of the Distiller’s Charity, specifically in support of The Drinks Trust, The Alcohol Education Trust and The Lord Mayor’s Appeal

I hope you enjoy the story – please consider a bid for a very special case from a very special Year!

Thank You

Chris Porter
Master 2021-2022

About The Case

I wanted a very special case to house the Case for the 350. I am therefore so grateful to Liveryman Neil Stevenson and his hugely talented team at NEJ Stevenson who have provided just that, generously offering to build and donate the wonderful, bespoke Case to house the bottles.

When I visited Neil’s workshop in early 2023 to collect it, I was really struck by the commitment, knowledge and skill every one of the team there showed, all masters of their craft, all working together to produce beautiful, made to order pieces.

The bespoke whisky presentation box is a stunning work of craftsmanship. The box is constructed from coloured high-density board and has been polished in a deep brown pigmented lacquer, giving it a beautifully smooth and seamless finish. The hand-painted logo engraved on the box lid is highlighted in a company colour to emphasis the purpose of the box and reflects the premium quality of the contents and the workmanship.

Inside the box, the attention to detail continues with the hand-wrapped black felt inserts, which provide a sumptuous and secure place for the storage of the whisky bottles. The lid of the box is held firmly in place by brass hinges and brass stays, which hold the lid so that there is easy access to the leather information wallet held in place by a clever system of magnetised timber strips.

It is a true work of art – to be treasured by the winning bidder long after the contents of it have gone!

Thank you, Neil! www.nejstevenson.co.uk

Distillery Visits

Visit 1 – 16th December 2021

EAST LONDON LIQUOR CO.

London

A bottle of East London Liquor Company East London Single Malt 2021 (70cl, 48%)

Kindly donated & hosted by Alex Wolpert, East London Liquor Co.


Visit 2 – 19th January 2022

The English Whisky Company

Norfolk

A bottle of single malt drawn from first fill ASB cask filled in 2014

Kindly donated by owner, host and Liveryman Andrew Nelstrop


Visit 3 – 22nd February 2022

The Lakes Distillery

Cumbria

A bottle of Lakes Distillery single malt Whiskymaker’s Edition ‘Mosaic’

Kindly donated by owner and host, Liveryman Nigel Mills


Visit 4 – 26th March 2022

The Cotswolds Distillery

Cotswolds

A bottle of Cotswold Distillery Founder’s Choice single malt whisky

Kindly donated by founder and owner, Liveryman Daniel Szor


Visit 5 – 13th April 2022

Glenfarclas

Highlands

A bottle of 2003 Family Cask single malt (bottled in 2021)

Kindly donated by Liveryman John Grant


Visit 6 – 28th June 2022

Gordon & Macphail, Benromach

Speyside

A bottle of 2012 Benromach Speyside single malt Scotch whisky

Kindly donated by Liveryman Ewen Macintosh


Visit 7 – 19th July 2022

WM Grant & Sons

Dufftown

A bottle of Glenfiddich Our Small Batch 18 yo single malt – the label states the date of the visit

Kindly donated by Liveryman Grant Gordon


Visit 8 – 2nd August 2022

Warner’s Gin

Northampton

A bottle of Warner’s Elderflower Infused Gin

Kindly donated by Liveryman Tom & Tina Warner


Visit 9 – 7th September 2022

Tarquin’s

Cornwall

A bottle of Tarquin’s Cornish Dry Gin – personally waxed sealed by the Master!

Kindly donated by founder & owner, Tarquin Leadbetter


Visit 10 – 20th September 2022

Kilchoman Distillery

Islay

A bottle of Kilchoman Sanaig Islay Single Malt Whisky

Kindly hosted by Liveryman Anthony Wills, owner & founder, Kilchoman


Visit 11 – 21st September 2022

Ardbeg Distillery

Islay

A bottle of Ardbeg Traigh Bahn 19yo Single Malt Whisky, signed by Ardbeg Distiller Colin Gordon

Kindly hosted and donated by Jackie Thompson and Colin Gordon


Visit 12 – 14th November 2022

Hayman’s

London

A bottle of 50th Anniversary Hayman’s Rare Cut Gin

Kindly hosted and donated by Past Master Christopher Hayman, founder Hayman’s Gin


The One of One Auction 2023: Post event

The Distillers’ Charity hosted its second biennial Distillers One of One Auction, in partnership with Sotheby’s, in the stately Hopetoun House near Edinburgh on Thursday 5 October. Comprising a selection of ultra-rare Scotch whiskies, the 39-lot sale which attracted lively bidding, both in the room and online by collectors from across the globe, brought an outstanding aggregate total of £2,248,750 (total hammer price of £1,800,000) more than double the pre-sale low estimate. The Auction, which was attended by 180 people in the presence of the Master and Lord & Lady Hopetoun, culminated in all 39 lots being sold, and 18 records broken.

Of the Auction hammer price proceeds of £1.8 million, 90% will benefit The Distillers’ Charity’s Youth Action Fund, which aims to transform the lives of young people in Scotland aged between 16 and 25, by helping them to develop knowledge, confidence, resilience, and skills. The Youth Action Fund has assembled a panel of complementary charity partners, each providing expertise and experience in achieving sustainable employability outcomes for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. The 10% balance of funds raised will help to support the Distillers’ Charity’s general charitable work, including Distillers’ Vocational Training & Education and City & Livery giving.

We are delighted that thanks to the generosity of Scotch Whisky industry donors, and buyers, the Youth Action Fund will have long-term funding to carry out its vital work. Building on an already strong foundation, the proceeds from this Auction will go towards supporting even more young people throughout Scotland over the next two years.

One in four young people are living in poverty, with many of those in the most disadvantaged areas still suffering from the effects of Covid-19 lockdown on their development, leading to them stepping away from education. Youth Action Fund support, through our partner charities, has played an essential role in developing their resilience, confidence and motivation and to get into further education or employment.

Celia Tennant, Chief Executive of Inspiring Scotland, who manage the Youth Action Fund (YAF) on behalf of The Distillers’ Charity

The 2023 auction result means that the first two Distillers One of One Auctions have raised a combined total of £4.2m for charity.

Grant Gordon OBE, Chairman of The Distillers’ Charity

“We’re very proud to see that the Scotch Whisky industry has once more come together and raised an incredible amount in support of disadvantaged young people in Scotland. In the past 21 months, with proceeds from the first One of One Auction, over 800 young people who were isolated, disengaged and inactive, have already benefited from support through the Youth Action Fund. This year’s Auction has once more raised a substantial amount of funds, which will contribute towards our aspiration of transforming the lives of young people. We sincerely thank all our industry leaders, the whisky collectors and the craftspeople that pour their passion into every cask and bottle, for their support and generosity, as well the Youth Action Fund’s charity partners who work tirelessly every day to support young people in Scotland.”

Grant Gordon OBE, Chairman of The Distillers’ Charity
Jonathan Driver, Chair of The Distillers Ventures Limited

“We’re overwhelmed to see that our second One of One Auction has been another resounding success, galvanizing whisky brands old and new, all in the name of philanthropy. To have raised such an exceptional sum for Scotland’s disadvantaged youth this year is very special to us, and we cannot wait to hear about further inspiring stories on how these funds will be used in practice. We’re also delighted to announce that the next One of One Auction will be back in 2025, continuing the momentum of creativity, philanthropy and celebration that we’ve built. We look forward to welcoming back our partners, including auctioneers Sotheby’s, and we’re proud to make a long-term commitment to funding and securing a future for young people in Scotland that benefit from the funds raised. The Distillers’ Charity would like to thank all who donated to, and bid on, the One of One Auction 2023, and we look forward to seeing them again in 2025.”

Jonathan Driver, Chair of The Distillers Ventures Limited

We would like to take the opportunity to thank Livery members for their support, encouragement and help in making the One of One Auction fundraising initiative possible and showing the philanthropic values of the Worshipful Company of Distillers in action. A special mention of thanks goes to the Working Group, who supported throughout the entire planning process and at the events themselves.

Distillers One of One Auction 2023 – Official Launch

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Today signals the launch of the Distillers One of One Auction 2023. Here is your opportunity to register to bid in this auction of exceptionally rare and distinctive Scotch whiskies.

Proceeds from the auction will benefit the Youth Action Fund, which has been created by The Distillers’ Charity with the aim to transform the life chances of young people in Scotland, empowering them to create positive change in their lives and communities.

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Express your interest and register to bid by visiting sothebys.com/distillersoneofone

The Distillers One of One and Sotheby’s are pleased to announce a joint exhibition at the Sotheby’s gallery in London: for the first time ever, visitors will have the opportunity to see a selection of ultra-rare, one-off whisky lots that will go under the hammer at The Distillers One of One Auction on 5th of October at Hopetoun House near Edinburgh. This is the first public reveal of these lots, you are cordially invited to visit and view them before they travel to Scotland for the auction on October 5th.

Following the successful start to the biennial auction series in 2021, this year’s Distillers One of One Auction boasts participation from thirty-six distilleries across the Scotch Whisky industry, collectively offering an impressive array of 39 lots. The proceeds from this remarkable auction will be donated to The Distillers’ Charity, principally to the Youth Action Fund, dedicated to transforming the lives of young people in Scotland. 

Among the cohort of donors from across Scotland, there are thirteen Founder donors, many of whom will be displaying their unique lots at Sotheby’s London, including Aberfeldy, Bladnoch, Bowmore, Brora, Glenglassaugh, new brand KANDOBLANC, Macduff, Old Pulteney, The Glen Grant and The Last Drop. 

Where: Sotheby’s, 34-35 New Bond Street
Dates: 15th-20th September
Times: 9.30am-4.30pm weekdays, 12-5pm weekend
Details: Open to the public

An Introduction to The Salmon Youth Centre

The Salmon Youth Centre, which will benefit from this year’s Master’s appeal, has been working with young people in Bermondsey for over a hundred years, inspiring them to reach their potential. The Centre welcomes around 500 young people every week, many of whom are disadvantaged, such as care leavers, youth ex-offenders, disabled young people and other groups of young people at risk.

Support is targeted in three ways: improving young people’s health & wellbeing, preparing them for education & work and involving them in community engagement.

The Immediate Post Master, Chris Porter and I visited the Charity to experience first hand the breadth and depth of activities offered, and how the funds being raised by the Livery will make a difference to disadvantaged young people in the City of London.

In this first report of a series, Jamie Anglesea talks to us about some of the specific activities offered to improve young people’s prospects in education & work and what is in place to support their health and wellbeing.

The Worshipful Company of Distillers has pledged to raise £40k for this important cause. If you have not yet made a donation, please consider making one now, in the knowledge that the amount given will doubled by The Distillers’ Charity.

Your generosity will mean a lot to improve the life chances of young people in the City of London.

Thank you.

Chris Searle
Master 2022-23

Inaugural Distillers’ Charity Spirited Award

The Spirited Award was donated in 2022 by Immediate Past Master Chris Porter to The Distillers’ Charity. The purpose of the Award is for the Charity’s Trustees to identify an individual each year who has gone above and beyond helping turn the Distillers’ philanthropic aspirations into reality.

L-R: The Master; James Higgins, The Immediate Past Master

The winner of the inaugural Distillers’ Charity Spirited Award, presented at the Court & Livery Dinner at Saddler’s Hall on 27th April, was Court Assistant and Distiller’s Ventures Ltd Director, James Higgins.

A Liveryman since 2015, James’s charitable work with the Distillers began in 2018, when, armed with a very small team, he led, managed and delivered our Auction in that year. That work at the time was key to the success of that Distillers’ Charity Auction. Learning from it and realising what could be further achieved with the Auction module, James went on to work tirelessly behind the scenes, masterminding establishing the organisation that became Distillers Ventures Limited.

He helped negotiate the partnership with Sotheby’s and much more, resulting in the raising of £2.4m in the first One of One Auction in 2021. This was an unprecedented level in the history of the Distillers and began the helping transform the lives of young people, the beneficiaries of our Charity partners.

We were delighted to recognise this incredible contribution made to our Charitable work in presenting the inaugural Distillers’ Charity Spirited Award to James Higgins.

Congratulations, James!

Chris Porter
Immediate Past Master 2022-23

The Master’s Charity of the Year 2023 – Salmon Youth Centre

We proudly announce the winner of the inaugural Master’s Charity of the Year where Livery members  have voted to choose the The Salmon Youth Centre, one of three contestants, aligned to The Distillers’ Charity’s mission to transform the lives of young people.

The Salmon Youth Centre, which will benefit from this year’s appeal, has been working with young people in Bermondsey for over a hundred years, inspiring them to reach their potential. The Centre welcomes around 500 young people every week, from all backgrounds, between six and 25 years old, promoting positive change and supporting their transition to adulthood. Support is targeted in three ways: improving young people’s health & wellbeing, preparing them for education & work and involving them in community engagement.

The Salmon Youth Centre work with a wide range of young people many of whom are disadvantaged, such as care leavers, youth ex-offenders, disabled young people and other groups of young people at risk. The Centre’s approach is to build long-term relationships with the young people engaged through regular social interaction, working to inspire them to reach their potential and contribute positively to the community.

We are hugely grateful to the Worshipful Company of Distillers for recognising the great work we do and choosing The Salmon Youth Centre as their charity of the year. Through your generosity we will be able to support some of the most disadvantaged young people in the City of London, providing mentoring, counselling for those struggling with mental health, evening meals for those families battling the cost-of-living crisis, and opening clubs for the 500 young people every week. We look forward this collaboration and thank you for all your kindness and support.

Jamie Anglesea, Acting Director Salmon Youth Centre

We are delighted that our Livery membership has chosen Salmon Youth Centre as the Master’s Charity of the Year. The Centre is based in Bermondsey, also home to the Wine & Spirit Trade Association, and their work closely aligns with our mission to support disadvantaged young people offering a broad range of services and we are pleased to help the charity’s progress.

Chris Searle, Master of the Worshipful Company of Distillers

Our target is to raise £40,000 through The Distiller’s Charity, in a £1 for £1 match funding campaign, to be launched by the Master on April 27th at the Spring Livery Dinner, following an Auction also benefiting the Salmon Youth Centre.

Play your part in helping raise funds for this important cause and transform the lives of young people. Please click the button to donate.

For more information visit:  Salmon Youth Centre in Bermondsey

The Master’s Charity of the Year – Silent Auction

The Silent Auction in aid of the inaugural Master’s Charity of the Year is now live

We proudly announce the winner of the inaugural Master’s Charity of the Year, The Salmon Youth Centre. The aims of the organisation, voted for by Livery members, are aligned with the mission of The Distillers’ Charity to transform the lives of young people.

This Silent Auction allows you to bid for some truly fabulous experiences and all money raised will support The Salmon Youth Centre.

There are 15 great lots on which to bid, and our grateful thanks go to fellow Liverymen, friends, and supporters from the industry who have kindly donated these items to make this possible.

The Salmon Youth Centre has been reaching out to young people in Bermondsey for over a hundred years. The Centre welcomes around 500 young people between six and 25 years old each week from all backgrounds, such as care leavers, youth ex-offenders, disabled young people and other at-risk groups. Promoting positive change and supporting their transition to adulthood, the Centre’s approach is to build long-term relationships with the young people engaged through regular social interaction, aiming to inspire them to reach their potential and contribute positively to the community.
For more information visit: Salmon Youth Centre in Bermondsey

The Auction is live NOW – and remains so until 11:59pm on April 27th, after the April Dinner. Please visit our dedicated auction website: Air Auctioneer – Distillers Silent Auction to view the lots and get bidding!

Thank you for your generous support.