The Master’s Case For The 350th

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!

Distillery Visits

Visit 1 – 16th December 2021



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


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


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


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



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


A bottle of 2012 Benromach Speyside single malt Scotch whisky

Kindly donated by Liveryman Ewen Macintosh

Visit 7 – 19th July 2022

WM Grant & Sons


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


A bottle of Warner’s Elderflower Infused Gin

Kindly donated by Liveryman Tom & Tina Warner

Visit 9 – 7th September 2022



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


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


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



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

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

Hayman’s Distillery – Master’s Distillery Visit

In attendance – Chris Porter, Chris Searle (Upper Warden), Sue Searle, Lorne MacKillop (Middle Warden), Nick Carr (Renter Warden), Louise Carr, Past Master Charles Maxwell, Peter Baxendale (Upper Bailiff, Waever’s Company) and Amy Wyatt-Jones (Partner, John Lewis & Partners and Master’s god-daughter!)

The final distillery visit of my year, took me back to London. Hayman’s splendidly spotless gin distillery in Balham, was founded by their Master Distiller, Christopher Hayman.

Christopher was our Master in 2004-2005 and has been an active and contributing Past Master of the Livery ever since. Christopher was also instrumental as a founder of The Gin Guild, helping establish and launch it in 2012 as a subsidiary of our Worshipful Company of Distillers. The Guild now has over 400 members.    

It seemed highly historically appropriate that I should have been celebrating with Beefeater last week at the Tower, since The Hayman gin distilling story started in 1863 with one, James Burrough. It was his work created the recipes for Burrough’s, Olde Chelsey, Beefeater and Black Cat gins.

It was James who also developed a drier style that we know today as London Dry Gin.

James was the great grandfather of Christopher Hayman. In 1987 when the family business was sold, Christopher had the foresight to buy back part of the business in order for the family’s gin distilling journey to continue.

Now based in Balham, South West London, Christopher’s children James and Miranda run the day to day business, whilst Christopher, as Master Distiller, still has an active role in the distillery process.

We were warmly welcomed (for that read within two minutes we had a gin & tonic in our hands!) and sat comfortably whilst Christopher explained the family history, creating the product and building the brand to the success it enjoys today.

We spent time in the botanicals room and competitively pestle’d and mortar’d our way through to find our own perfect expression of the blend of juniper with the citrus, cinnamon, nutmeg, angelica and liquorice and orris root available for our experiments.

The serious business of tasting Hayman’s Old Tom, Dry and Sloe Gins then took place, expertly tutored by Ted, our tasting guide, enabling a full appreciation of each experience.

In 2019, Christopher’s 50 years of working in gin was celebrated by a presentation to him from James and Miranda of a special distillation, Hayman’s Rare Cut (the London Dry cut at 50%)

Whilst having adjourned to the upstairs in house bar for a most welcome and brilliantly prepared negroni cocktail, I was presented with one such bottle of Rare Cut, signed by Christopher, Miranda and James as a contribution from Hayman’s for my Master’s Case for the 350th Anniversary Appeal

A most enjoyable dinner at local hostelry, The Devonshire capped off what was a fascinating and enjoyable visit.

It was the perfect way to sign off from my Year as Master and from the visits I have completed each month to celebrate and promote the product and the people in this fantastic industry.

All unforgettable in their own unique ways, with warm hospitality and, of course, generosity of spirit in abundance.

Chris Porter
Master 2021 – 22

Inter-Livery Petanque Competition

On a balmy summer evening in Vauxhall, the first Inter-Livery Petanque challenge took place under the trees in the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, home to the London Petanque Club (LPC) who were our hosts and referees for the evening.

A total of 17 teams took part, 3 from the Distillers, 2 from the Educators, and others from the Coopers, Vintners, Ironmongers, Plaisterers, Furniture Makers, Entrepreneurs, Framework Knitters, Tobacco and Pipe Makers, Cooks, Dyers and two additional teams, the Cask Trade and Milroy’s.

Everyone was welcomed with a glass of Pimm’s mixed by our barman for the evening, Past Master Charles Maxwell, assisted by the Mistress, greeting guests and fellow participants on arrival. No doubt this helped in the preparation and practice for the heat of battle that was to follow!

The Master warmly welcomed everybody and thanked each Company for their support for the event. The experts from the LPC then took over the address, outlining the rules and directing everyone to their ‘pitch’ where all the league games would take place.

After each team had played each other in the leagues, four were left standing in the semi-finals, the Framework Knitters vs The Vintners and The Cooks vs The Plaisterers – the latter prevailing in both matches.

The final was played in front of a boisterous crowd of all teams who had stayed behind to witness the evening’s denouement contained more tension and suspense than a Hitchcock movie.

With quality petanque-ing from both teams Ian Harris, Lucy Marcusson and Emma Rice from the Vintners and Philip Cowen, Brian Geddes and Nigel White from the Plaisterers – the Vintners prevailed thanks to some devasting pitching in the final game.

The event was intended to be a very casual and informal way for all Livery colleagues to get together for some friendly competition and to wish each other well prior to our summer breaks.

The Cooper’s Cask Trophy, kindly donated for the event by the Cooper’s Company

Thanks must go to everyone at the London Petanque Club who hosted us so brilliantly, our magnificent barman, Charles Maxwell, and Liveryman Edward Bates, whose invaluable support in helping to organise the event was greatly appreciated.

A lot of fun, a very relaxed evening which also raised £360 for the Lord Mayor’s Appeal. We hope to repeat, with the Cooper’s help once more, again next year when the Vintners will defend their position as Livery Petanque Champions!

William Grant & Sons | Glenfiddich & Balvenie Distilleries – Master’s Distillery Visit

I was very honoured to be hosted by William Grant & Sons on my seventh distillery visit during my Year as Master to mark our 350th Anniversary to celebrate the product, people and businesses of our Liverymen all over the country.

Family owned and run since 1887, this took us on tours of the Glenfiddich and Balvenie distilleries.

Grant’s brands are currently in 200 markets around the world, in 50 locations and over 2,500 employees. This spotless site and the stunning scenery surrounding it, the 46 warehouses camouflaged behind the canvass of hills bushes and trees, gives little clue to the hive of activity that runs, 24 hours a day by the teams of dedicated, passionate people at Dufftown.

L–R Alison Holdom (the Mistress), The Master, Anne Kane and Beth Finnigan (Aberdeen Foyer), Liveryman Grant Gordon, Chair, The Distillers’ Charity and Grant family member

I’m also taking the opportunity to promote our charitable work, not just our 350th Anniversary Appeal this year, but also to meet and talk to some of the Charities who we have supported as a direct result of the funding made possible from last year’s One of One Auction.

On all my visits to Scotland, I’ve been truly heart-warmed to have heard how impact of our funding from last year’s One of One Auction has already made a significant difference to the charities we have supported with the money raised for our Youth Action Fund. This visit was no different. It was a pleasure to have met Anne and Beth from Aberdeen Foyer, a charity which exists to support people in the North East of Scotland towards independent living, learning and employment support, training, counselling and health improvement initiatives to young people and adults.

Our Immediate Past Master, Jonathan Driver, shared his wealth of knowledge, gained over nearly forty years in the whisky industry and who, since 2017, has been Managing Director for Private Client sales at William Grant & Sons. I’m extremely grateful to Jonathan for his time spent and producing some very special whisky indeed for our tasting – six in all, but these were my own personal favourites.

The day’s comedy moment came when I was given the chance at the Balvenie maltings to demonstrate turning malt and learning that this was how the legend of monkey shoulder was born!

Many of you reading this may know, but I learned that malt shovelling is an arduous and demanding task, especially in +30 degree heat, which it was on the day we visited. I was pleased to have had the chance to turn malt but how a genuine maltmen cope over a number of hours left me in deep admiration of them.

Our visit culminated in a fabulous dinner on Tuesday night where Grant, his wife Brigitte, Vicki, Jonathan, Alison and I were joined by Liverymen Damian Riley-Smith and Richard Forsyth and their wives Pippa and Heather.

The presentation to me of a personalised boxed single malt from the Glenfiddich Rare Collection Anniversary Vintage was as wonderful as unexpected. I shall treasure it and the evening.

Special thanks in particular must go to Liveryman Vicki Rimell who arranged the whole trip for Alison and I so brilliantly – thank you Vicki!

Finally, to Jonathan Driver and the Grant family for such generous hospitality and especially to our Chair of Distillers’ Charity, Liveryman Grant Gordon – and family member who took time out to guide us around both Glenfiddich and Balvenie distilleries.

All were incredible hosts, as were our guides who took us through every aspect of the journey of the iconic Glenfiddich and Balvenie brands.

A truly unforgettable trip.

Chris Porter
Master 2021 – 22
July 2022

Gordon & MacPhail | Benromach Distillery – Master’s Distillery Visit

My sixth visit of the twelve in my year took me to Elgin and Forres, in the beautiful Moray region of north east Scotland.

The purpose of these visits is to focus on our wonderful product, raise our Livery profile, celebrate our charitable partnerships and impact, marking 350 years as a Livery in as many geographical regions with as many people from our industry as possible across the land as time allows during my year. The fact that hospitality and our Livery are open for business again across the country after two very challenging years – reason alone for a cause for celebration!

It has been a total pleasure thus far to have visited five outstanding distilleries and my visit to Gordon & MacPhail’s the Benromach distillery in Forres, was no exception.

L – R: The Master, Maya McNeill, Stuart Urquhart (Benromach) Lianne Williams (Enable Scotland). Ewen Macintosh, Kirsten Bryceland and Becky Pearce (Benromach)

Warmly welcomed by Liveryman and Gordon & MacPhail’s Managing Director, Ewen MacKintosh and Chairman of our Scottish Committee, Michael Urquhart CBE, I was superbly entertained to dinner at Orrin, a local restaurant in Elgin which had opened especially for us on a Monday night.

Not a night for speeches of formality, it was the most convivial night, culminating in the most unexpected presentation to me, or, more accurately, to the Distiller’s Charity. A bottle of 1952 single malt Glen Grant, bottled in 2022 to mark Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

A happy co-incidence then that 2022 should also be our 350th Anniversary! We owe Ewen and Gordon and MacPhail a huge debt of gratitude for the donation of such a rare and no doubt sought after item.

After a meeting brief with Ewen and his international marketing and development team of Kirsten and Maya and HR Director, Becky we were taken on a guided tour of the distillery and warehouses at Benromach, the highlight being re-acquainted with the 1952 bottle of single malt and a viewing of some amazing casks.

Ewen MacKintosh presenting a bottle of 1952 Glen Grant to The Master

Our friends at Whisky.Auction have kindly agreed to include this in their forthcoming auction in the charity section – all proceeds from it’s sale will go towards this year’s 350th Anniversary Appeal. Subscribers to Whisky.Auction will see notice of when it’s sale will take place on the Charity section of the Whisky.Auction website. Thanks to Isabel Graham-Youll and her team for providing the platform for our sale, once again.

My visits to Scotland also give the opportunity to meet and talk to the charities specifically supported by The Distiller’s Charity’s Youth Action Fund (YAF). It was great to have attended the launch of YAF with Livery colleagues at the Scottish Whisky Experience in Edinburgh in March this year.

There we met representatives from the Alcohol Education Trust, Street League, Aberdeen Foyer and Enable Scotland, four charities who will benefit directly from the proceeds of our incredible One of One Auction in December.

I therefore felt it very important, that some of my visits should show the impact that our funding is having. I was delighted and moved to hear of the transformational effect that it is delivering and the opportunities made possible to the lives of the beneficiaries of these four amazing charities support.

Thank you Gordon and MacPhail and the team at Benromach who made me so welcome in what was a very special day and a very proud one for our Livery.

This visit also made the local press:

To celebrate 350 years of the company, the Master is visiting distilleries the length and breadth of the UK, to raise awareness of the work that it does and to experience the best companies in the business.

Dram Scotland | Full article

Another reason for the Benromach visit was to collect items for the Distillers One of One auction, a regular event to which Gordon & MacPhail, the distillery’s owners, frequently donate.

The last auction raised over £2.5 million which was distributed between a selection of charities that help young people across Scotland.

Forres Gazette | Full article

Chris Porter
Master 2021-22

350th Anniversary Banquet at The Guildhall

What an evening we had at The Guildhall to celebrate and mark the 350th Anniversary of the granting of our Livery by the Alderman of the Corporation of London in 1672.

When our Royal Charter was granted in 1638, giving the Company control of distilling within a 21-mile radius of the cities of London and Westminster, there was some opposition from other Livery Companies to the creation of such a monopoly. In those troubled times of Civil War, regicide, and a puritan Cromwellian government, this opposition delayed the enrolment of the Charter until 1658. Following the successful development of the Company after the Restoration of Charles II in 1660, however, the Court of Aldermen relented and granted us the Livery by Order dated 21st October 1672, thus firmly establishing the Company’s status in the City.

2022 therefore marks the 350th anniversary of the conferment of Livery status on our Company. To commemorate this most significant event in our history, we are celebrating this evening with a Banquet at Guildhall, in the presence of The Rt. Hon. The Lord Mayor Alderman Vincent Keaveny (who is an Honorary Liveryman and Court Assistant of the Company, and the first Distiller to be elected to the Mayoralty since John Johnson in 1845), Alderman and Sheriff Nicholas Lyons, Masters from the Cask Group and other associated Livery Companies, and their respective consorts.

It gave me great pride in seeing so many Liverymen, consorts, honoured guests from our military affiliates, Masters from other Liveries and, of course, the Lord Mayor, Lady Mayoress and the Shrieval Party.

Proceedings begun at 5pm, with a wonderful service at the church of St Vedast, Foster Lane, attended by the Lord Mayor, Mr Sheriff, the Master and Wardens, other Masters and 100 Liverymen.

We were delighted that it was conducted by our Honorary Chaplain, the Reverend Canon David Parrott. Full order of service (PDF)

The Master, Lord Mayor, Mr Sheriff, Wardens, Beadle, Clerk and Consorts on the steps of St. Vedast

Those who had attended the service gathered outside to bid a temporary farewell to the Lord Mayor and Sheriff.

The wait was worth it, for we then had the great honour, and somewhat surreal experience, of processing from the church to the Guildhall by Pipe Sergeant Andy Parsons from London Scottish Pipes and Drums, much to the entertainment and bewilderment of the gathered City folk going about their daily routine, only to be greeted by our grand, piped procession! I don’t know how many people’s phones we ended up on but many more members of the public will know about the Worshipful Company of Distillers as a result!

On arrival at the Guildhall, we were met by the Pikemen of the Honourable Artillery Company, there to give support, gravitas and a nudge to anyone who might be slow to go through to dinner!

I was very pleased, together with; Upper Warden, Chris Searle; Middle Warden, Lorne MacKillop and Renter Warden, Nick Carr, to have met and welcomed all our guests on arrival to the receiving line who then proceeded through into the Reception in the Livery Room where they enjoyed Pol Roger champagne and Pimm’s No1 Cup, Platinum Jubilee Edition.

Our most grateful thanks go to our Corporate Freeman, Dan Mobley and Liveryman Karen Bennett, for the most generous donation of Pimm’s and the Johnnie Walker Black Label Royal Warrant Holders Special Reserve that we enjoyed at the Reception and at the Dinner. Thanks too to James Simpson and Pol Roger UK for most generous terms on a plentiful supply of Reception champagne!

Shortly before 7.30pm, our Beadle, John Cash, gave notice that dinner was served.

The Company felt that it was most to identify each table, not with numbers, but names of selected Past Master’s dating back to our founding. We wished especially to remember those Masters who had died in recent years, in our living memory, by remembering them by way of this tribute.

We meet tonight in this fine hall,
Distillers Livery one and all,
Tradition, when with our Lord Mayor,
Is that we pause and start our meal in prayer,
Praise God for all that has been done,
In charity and Livery fun,
We’ll take some spirits and some wine,
To celebrate our history fine,
And so, to future work we slip,
For ever with a flask at hip.

Grace – Reverend Canon David Parrott

Shortly after another inimitable Grace from the Reverend Parrott and before dining commenced, the Master read out a letter of greeting and good wishes for our celebration dinner from HM the Queen, a particularly proud moment and highlight for me from the evening.

The menu, prepared by Mark Grove and his team at The Cook and the Butler, was truly exceptional and we congratulate our very own Liveryman, Jean Deillon for his skill in producing outstanding quality and flavour. The selection of wines from our cellar, carefully selected to match each course by our Spirit and Wine Committee of Past Master’ Allan Cheeseman, Terry Barr and Honorary Steward, David Hunter all showed extremely well.

Thank you to all these people who made a menu of which we were very proud and received plenty of enthusiasm during and after the event!

Immediate Past Master, Jonathan Driver, was tasked with introduced the newly reconstructed idea for the Loving Cup. Whilst, thanks to ongoing COVID precautions, we bemoan the loss of a great Livery Institution, the Loving Cup lives on! Hayman’s Gin had generously provided us with miniature bottles of their Sloe Gin, to be poured into a neighbour’s glass (to the left) and then, on the word, turn to each other and toast – the Loving Cup for the future in born! Thank you Hayman’s!

The Loyal Toasts followed shortly, accompanied with fine Taylor’s 20yo Tawny port.

The Lord Mayor, himself an Honorary Liveryman, delivered a speech which recognised the value of the Distiller’s contribution to Livery life, his year and especially the charitable work which his Lord Mayor’s Appeal is delivering. He concluded by proposing the health of the Company, root and branch. Lord Mayor’s speech (PDF)

The Lord Mayor speaking on behalf of the guests

The Master then spoke thank everyone who had contributed in making the evening such a success, welcoming our honoured guests, celebrating the successes of our military affiliates, our Livery honours, the progress we have made with the Distillers Charity and our strategy on Diversity and Inclusivity – before asking Livery members to rise and toast the health of our guests. The Master’s full speech (PDF)

The culmination of this speech was a very special surprise for the Lord Mayor as he was presented with a one bottle, from a cask very generously donated to us by Irish Distillers specifically for this event. The cask produced 187 bottles of Jameson Black Barrel Whiskey.

The Master toasting to health of the guests
L–R: Commodore Robert Bellfield CBE ADC Royal Navy, Rear Admiral James Parkin CBE, Squadron Leader Derek Read, Commander High Saltonstall Royal Navy, Commodore Richard Harris Royal Navy, Court Assistant James Higgins, PM David Raines, Steward Matt Gammell, Commander Claire Thompson Royal Navy, Liveryman Simon Collins, Captain Katharine Armstrong Royal Navy, Court Assistant Alex Parker, Liveryman Jamie Barklem, Lieutenant Commander Neil Dockerty, Steward Matthew Russell, Major Monty D’Iverno

The Worshipful Company of Distillers owe a huge debt of thanks to Irish Distillers, who not only funded the cask but the shipping and forwarding costs too), their agents, Pernod Ricard UK, and NUDE Brand Creation who designed the label. Thank you all!

The Master was honoured to finally be able to unveil the surprise to Vincent Keaveny, a very special commemorative bottle of single malt Irish Whiskey, the label of which stated:

Bottled by Irish Distillers for The Worshipful Company of Distillers to present to its Honorary Liveryman, the Rt. Hon. Vincent Keaveny, 693rd Lord Mayor of London, on the occasion of the Company’s Banquet at Guildhall on 15th June 2022 celebrating 350 years since the enrolment of its Livery

The bottle is intended for fund-raising, along with the other 186 bottles, for however the Lord Mayor’s Appeal Team may see fit, during the remainder of his Mayoral year, to help boost and fulfil his Charitable ambition.

The Master presented the Lord Mayor with a bottle from a cask of Jameson Black Barrel whiskey

Finally, a response and entertaining presentation from Liveryman Jared Brown and his wife, Anistatia Miller, authors of, among many other essays, books and theses, The Distiller of London, the book which captured the life, times and recipes of our founder, Sir Theodore de Mayerne. Jared & Anistatia’s full speech (PDF)

Jared Brown and Anistatia Miller entertain the guests after dinner

A warm feeling pervaded throughout, the evening and the room was filled with a pride as our Livery celebrated this milestone in our history and our future.

The day had started, at the church, in celebration and with reference to our Founder and his colleagues from 1672. The evening was closed by once again name-checking this extraordinary man. The events of the five hours in between will live long in the memory.

Chris Porter
Master 2021-2022

Glenfarclas Distillery – Master’s Distillery Visit

Video message from the Master

The Master made the fifth of the twelve visits to distilleries around the country, one per month of his Year in celebration of the Livery’s 350th Anniversary Year. Focusing is on the charitable work and incredible contributions being made by Distillers up and down the country and how our industry is thriving, responding and managing demand in the post-pandemic world.

Grateful thanks to Liveryman John Grant and his team at Glenfarclas for making the Master so welcome.

The highlight of the visit was being presented with a cask of single malt, the final few drams of which were topped up by the Master who sealed it thoroughly with the bung before being put into safe keeping deep in the Glenfarclas warehouses.

The 2022 cask is marked for The Distillers for the specific purpose to auction in 20+ years to help contribute to our charitable causes and those in need long into the future.

Thank you Glenfarclas, for your outstanding generosity and an outstanding visit.

Chris Porter
Master 2021-22

Fellow Liveryman Dr. Gordon Steele Shares his Mentoring Experience

I am delighted to share this very compelling and considered video with you. I share it in the hope that it may inspire some of you now, and if not now, in the future, to share the great knowledge, and experience that you have accumulated throughout your careers in our fascinating industry.

Last but not least I suggest it as a route through which you could satisfy your desire to help others. In this our 350th Anniversary Year it is a great example of a way to share our time and talents with those who would really value it. 

I would very much like to thank Gordon for kindly preparing this video.

The Vocational Training and Education Committee led by Richard Watling continue to make great strides in this important new mentoring initiative for the WCD and the level of interest and results are shining through. Having only started in early 2021 during lockdown we now have 18 mentees from all sections of our industry (distilling to marketing to hospitality) successfully allocated and engaged to Liveryman mentors best able to match their individual needs.

Spring 2022 sees us expanding the scope of our mentoring to include our Military Affiliates and the Drinks Trust.

May I thank all involved in this valuable initiative.

Chris Porter
Master 2021-22

If anyone is interested in becoming a mentor, please do contact our Development Director, Clive Bairsto:

The Lakes Distillery – Master’s Distillery Visit

What a fabulous day spent in the company of Liveryman Nigel Mills, CEO and co-founder of The Lakes Distillery. This was my third of twelve monthly visits during my year as Master, to celebrate the 350th Anniversary of our Livery and my Master’s Appeal. 

It also of courses celebrates the creativity, innovation, and wonderful spirits being produced in both young and established distilleries all over the country.

Having already seen fantastic examples of this at East London Liquor Co and English Whisky Company, the exception talent and vision Nigel and his team have had at The Lakes has seen remarkable growth in their 10 year existence. Our tasting, co hosted by trainee blender, Grace Gorton, was a real privilege for me, sublime whiskies including their latest Limited Edition Whisky Makers single malt Mosaic. 

Thanks to everyone at The Lakes for their outstanding hospitality.

The Master with Nigel Mills – CEO and Co-founder, The Lakes Distillery
Nigel Mills with Grace Gorton – Trainee Distiller

The Master