Protected: 350th Anniversary Banquet at The Guildhall

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

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:

Gavin Evans, Future Youth Zones

Onto the next one … !

Chris Porter
Master 2021-2022

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