English Whisky Guild Annual Review 2024

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englishwhiskyguild.com Annual Review 2024 The future of English Whisky is now THE BIRTH AND RISE OF ENGLISH WHISKY | A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE MEET THE FOUNDERS | AMBITIONS | MEMBER PROFILES | AWARDS
“The overarching vision of the English Whisky Guild (EWG) is for English whisky to be recognised globally as a respected choice for whisky drinkers.”

Welcome to the inaugural edition of the EWG Annual Review! Contents

As the CEO of the English Whisky Guild (EWG), it is my pleasure to introduce you to our very first Annual Review. This publication is more than just ink on paper or words on a screen; it’s a celebration of our members and associate members’ shared passion for English Whisky and their collective vision for it to be recognised globally as a respected choice among whisky drinkers.

The EWG Annual Review represents our shared endeavour to raise a glass to the excellence that defines our industry. It serves as a platform to share knowledge, insights, stories, and innovations. It promises something for everyone.

Within these pages, you’ll encounter each unique journey of our Guild members. From the founders who set out on this adventure to create a new Whisky category, to the individual distillers who began from diverse starting points – geographically, in their careers, in whisky profiles, and in their ambitions for their distilleries. Today, they converge under the umbrella of the Guild to produce a product defined by quality, innovation,

and sustainability. Our diversity is our strength, and our shared love for whisky unites us.

Why now? Because it’s time to pull back the curtain and invite you backstage. Through this Annual Review, you’ll embark on an access-all-areas tour; exploring the distilleries, meeting the founders, and uncovering the industry’s journey and ambitions. Discover the heart and soul of English Whisky.

The Annual Review is made up of insightful profiles from the companies who make up the Guild - both distillers and Associate Members - as well as engaging features, need-to-know happenings and a dedicated celebratory section highlighting the successes of English Whisky and the Guild’s journey so far.

As you turn the pages, we hope you’ll take away a deeper appreciation for English Whisky. May this review inspire your next glass, spark conversations, and kindle your curiosity. Here’s to the journey ahead… ■

4 The journey

Helping gain global recognition for English Whisky

6 EWG Whisky Distilleries

A snapshot of our 24 distilleries across England

8 Building a Whisky Standard

Geographical Indication - setting strong standards for English Whisky

10 Whisky wins

Laying out the achievements of distilleries across our country

12 The vision

Plotting the history and future growth trajectory for the industry

13 A word from the founders

Hear from some of our distillery founders firsthand about their eventful journeys

19 Distilling & Associate Member profiles

Getting to know English Whisky Distilleries and our key Supply Chain partners

50 The Resilience of the English Whisky Industry

The sectors growth and ambitions in numbers

52 Pushing towards a sustainable future that safeguards our product, people and planet

Nature’s importance to whisky and how sustainable practices preserve our environment

54 Industry trends

Exploring trends and technological advancements that are shaping the future of English Whisky

56 Distillers diary

Your guide to the most anticipated events this year

3 English Whisky Guild | Annual Review 2024 englishwhiskyguild.com WELCOME

The journey

Join us as we take a look back at the history of English Whisky and the creation of the English Whisky Guild…

The overarching vision of the English Whisky Guild (EWG) is to raise the profile of English Whisky and continue to earn global recognition as a respected choice for whisky drinkers. By combining the experience of our members we aim to showcase the remarkable diversity and quality of our unique whiskies as well as to promote the tireless pursuit of creativity, inclusivity and innovation. With 50 active distilleries and a string of internationally recognised awards, the future of English Whisky is now. Andrew Nelstrop, the founding Chairman of the English Whisky Guild, says: “I am continually inspired by the enthusiasm and commitment from our members. It's clear that collaboration is at the heart of our success and our shared commitment to our common sector priorities drives us forward. The willingness of the members going out of their way to support the Guild, and doing so proactively is incredible. It is this support that gives me hope

for the future of English Whisky, as together, we strive to elevate our product to global recognition.”

Daniel Szor, the current Chairman of the English Whisky Guild, continues: “As an early entrant to English Whisky, I had no idea the English whisky category would witness the phenomenal growth it has seen over the past ten years. My desire to help form what is now the English Whisky Guild grew as I witnessed more and more distillers embrace a similar dream to my own every year, and it now feels far more relevant than I could have ever expected for English whisky to get the recognition it merits.

Coming together to promote our fast-growing category and agreeing quality standards for our liquids, we are all taking part in something very exciting which we believe will outlive us and create a lasting legacy for English whisky.” Through ongoing collaboration and engagement with members and associate members of all sizes, we strive to champion our sector and facilitate meaningful interactions within our community. Together, we are shaping a vibrant and sustainable future for English whisky. ■


The English Whisky Company established the first distillery on one site.


Following a hiatus, modern English Whisky production restarted by Hicks and Healy, innovatively working with a brewery to create distillery wort.


The last whisky distillery in Lea Valley, Stratford, was converted to gin production before the site burned down.


The Worshipful Company of Distillers granted a Charter for whisky production in England.


Four whisky distilleries were operating in various locations across England including Bristol, Liverpool, and London.

Early 1800s

England was recognised as a whisky-producing area.

English Whisky Guild | Annual Review 2024 englishwhiskyguild.com 4 THE EVOLUTION

20142019 April 2020

Several distilleries begin building, distilling and laying down casks, across the length of England. Conversations between a number of these distilleries took place, laying the groundwork for a trade association…

April 2023

Morag Garden joined as the first official employee and CEO of The English Whisky Guild.

May 2022

The English Whisky Guild was officially launched, with 15 founding members from across England.


A Zoom call of English Whisky Producers marked the true beginning of The English Whisky Guild, with 15 companies joining the online meeting.

English Whisky won Worlds Best Single Malt Whisky Award.

September 2021 20202021

Several founders’ meetings took place to explore and create what would become The English Whisky Guild.

A physical meeting solidified formative decisions, including appointment of Andrew Nelstrop as founding Chair.

October 2023

In line with the founding principles, after three years as Chairman Andrew Nelstrop stepped down and Cotswold’s Dan Szor moved from ViceChair to Chair.

November 2023

The first Parliamentary showcase of English Whisky was held, hosting over 200 people, including 50 MPs and peers, in Westminster.


English Whisky won Worlds Best Single Malt Whisky Award

January 2024

The English Whisky Guild introduced Associate Members – key suppliers who collaborate with the distilleries – and held its first Associate Member session, hosted by Briggs of Burton.

April 2024

The AGM 2024 took place which celebrated a full 12 months of our newly appointed CEO and Associate Member hosting.

5 English Whisky Guild | Annual Review 2024 englishwhiskyguild.com THE EVOLUTION

EWG Whisky Distilleries

A look at the 24 distilleries that make up the English Whisky Guild...

North East

1. Ad Gefrin Distillery

Location: Wooler

Established: 2022

2. Yarm Distillery

Location: Yarm

Established: 2020

Yorkshire and Humber

3. Whittakers Distillery

Location: Harrogate

Established: 2019

4. Cooper King Distillery

Location: York

Established: 2019

5. Ellers Farm Distillery

Location: Stamford Bridge

Established: 2020

6. The Spirit of Yorkshire Distillery Ltd.

Location: Hunmanby

Established: 2016

7. Elsham Wold Distillery

Location: Elsham Wold

Established: 2020

East Midlands

8. White Peak Distillery

Location: Ambergate

Established: 2016

9. Wharf Distillery

Location: Towcester

Established: 2015

East of England

10. The English Distillery

Location: Roudham

Established: 2006

11. Adnams Plc (Copper House)

Location: Southwold

Established: 2010


12. East London Liquor Co.

Location: London

Established: 2014

13. Bimber Distillery

Location: North Acton, London

Established: 2016

South East

14. Copper Rivet Distillery

Location: Chatham

Established: 2017

15. Fielden Distillery

Location: Oxford

Established: 2017

South West

16. Trevethan Distillery

Location: Plymouth

Established: 2023

17. Ten Hides Distillery

Location: Melksham

Established: 2024

18. Retribution Distilling Company

Location: Frome

Established: 2021

West Midlands

19. Cotswolds Distillery

Location: Stourton

Established: 2014

20. Ludow Distillery

Location Craven Arms

Established: 2014

21. West Midlands Distillery

Location: Rowley Regis

Established: 2021

22. Henstone Distillery

Location: Welshpool

Established: 2017

North West

23. Spirit of Manchester Distillery

Location: Manchester

Established: 2022

24. The Lakes Distillery Co

Location: Setmurthy

Established: 2014

Established date: This is the date when the spirit was laid down to create English Whisky.

English Whisky Guild | Annual Review 2024 englishwhiskyguild.com 6 EWG MAP
7 English Whisky Guild | Annual Review 2024 englishwhiskyguild.com EWG MAP 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 23 24 22 21 20 19 9 15 13 12 14 16 10 11 18 17

The English Whisky Guild is in the final stages of submitting a Geographical Indication that champions quality, sustainability and innovation, in whisky production in England.

A Building a Whisky Standard

t the the heart of England’s distilling lies a testament to tradition, quality, and innovation - the Geographical Indication (GI) of English Whisky. Created within a regulatory framework overseen by the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), the English Whisky GI will not merely be a label; it will be a distinctive sign of excellence, embodying the spirit of its geographical origin.

What is the purpose of a Geographical Indication?

The creation of the English Whisky GI has been quite the journey, spanning over three years of collaborative effort within the English Whisky Guild (EWG), led by Tagore Ramoutar, Andrew Nelstrop and Morag Garden. Initiated in February 2021, this endeavour has involved comprehensive deliberation, ensuring

all member’s voices contribute to a collective vision. Drawing inspiration from established GI standards worldwide, the aim was to curate a framework that not only upholds the integrity of English Whisky but also aligns with market dynamics and consumer expectations, safeguarding the industry’s future.

At its core, the English Whisky GI serves as a guardian against the dilution of quality, setting strong standards and preventing any attempts to pass off subpar products as authentic English Whisky. By doing so, it not only benefits existing distilleries but also ensures a lasting legacy for future generations.

How it all began

The link between English Whisky and its geographical origin is steeped in a rich history that dates back centuries. England’s distilling heritage

traces its roots to as early as 1636, with the establishment of The Worshipful Company of Distillers. By the 1800s, England emerged as a whisky-producing region, boasting distilleries in areas including Liverpool, Bristol and London. Although the industry faced setbacks, by the early 2000s there was a revival of modern English Whisky production which marked a new era for the industry. By 2022, there were at least 24 distilleries actively producing English Whisky, signalling a significant resurgence.

What defines English Whisky?

English Whisky embodies a distinctive character shaped by its geographical surroundings. Categorised as whisky made from UK grain, every step of its production - from fermentation to distillation and maturation - takes place within the borders of England. The maturation process, crucial to developing its unique flavour profile, occurs in wooden casks carefully stored in English warehouses.

English Whisky Guild | Annual Review 2024 englishwhiskyguild.com 8 EWG GI

This emphasis on locality and craftsmanship extends to the core elements that shape the flavour of English Whisky. Grains sourced from local areas, coupled with the unique characteristics of the water used, contribute to the distinctiveness of each distillery’s product. English Whisky is designed to mature quickly and often focuses on batch and limited-edition releases in comparison to age statements.

The climate of England also plays a significant role in the maturation process, with relatively warmer temperatures and specific warehouse conditions influencing the development of flavour attributes. This environment creates distinctive nose and palate characteristics of English Whisky, setting it apart from its counterparts.

Championing quality and innovation

English Whisky’s journey is marked by innovation and recognition. The reputation of English Whisky continues to grow, with the organoleptic characteristics garnering acclaim for their contemporary and captivating flavour profiles. Often described as a ‘New World’ style whisky, English Whisky is celebrated for its complexity of character and innovation.

Today, quality and innovation are at the heart of what makes English Whisky so unique and exciting. Distillers are taking inspiration from

other drinks producers such as wine, cognac, beer and American whiskey, to create a diverse range of flavour profiles from sweet, fruity blends to sherry-led single malts and rich, spicy rye whisky. This dedication to experimentation has garnered global acclaim, with English Whisky earning recognition in esteemed publications and awards worldwide. As Becky Paskin, Journalist and Founder of Our Whisky, has said: “It’s impossible to compare the styles of any two English Whisky distilleries, for their essence is unique to the people, place and ingredients behind every bottle. However, what they do all have in common is an unwavering dedication to reflecting and championing their locality through flavour and quality.”

Creating a legacy

English Whisky’s influence extends far beyond its borders, reaching enthusiasts in over 30 countries,

including Japan and Canada, throughout the USA and across Europe. Its reputation for exceptional quality precedes it, bolstered by numerous accolades from esteemed awards like the World Whiskies Awards. Take a look at page 10 for more details on the success of English Whisky.

English Whisky will continue to be known for its rich heritage, exceptional quality, and innovative spirit, which reflects England’s proud tradition of distilling. As it grows and introduces new ideas, it solidifies its place as a respected name in the whisky community, earning praise and respect along the way.

The English Whisky GI is currently being developed towards being adopted as a recognised industry standard. Once agreed it will mark a historic moment, as at that point, each of the four UK nations will possess their own Geographical Indication for whisky. ■

9 English Whisky Guild | Annual Review 2024 englishwhiskyguild.com EWG GI

A Whisky wins

Raise a glass to the triumphs of English Whisky, as we showcase the remarkable achievements of distilleries across the country…

s the English Whisky Guild, we are delighted to announce that English whiskies have been named ‘World’s Best Single Malt’ for two of the past three years, triumphing against extremely stiff competition, including Scotch. Congratulations to the teams at both The English Distillery and The Lakes Distillery for this remarkable achievement.

The World Whisky Awards, founded in 2007 and hosted by Whisky Magazine, is a prestigious global competition with hundreds of entries annually from across the industry. Since the awards’ inception, England ranks as the third-highest country in terms of winning the ‘World’s Best Single Malt Whisky’ award. ■

English Whisky Guild | Annual Review 2024 englishwhiskyguild.com 10 TIME TO CELEBRATE


World Whiskies Awards

The World Whiskies Awards are hosted by Whisky Magazine and celebrate the quality and calibre of the people, places and products of the whisky world.


World’s Best Single Malt

The English, Sherry Cask


World’s Best Single Malt

The Lakes Distillery, The Whiskymaker’s Reserve No.4


IWSC Worldwide Whiskey Awards

The IWSC awards are one of the most respected industry awards. An English Whisky was awarded ‘Gold’ in 2023 and we eagerly await the 2024 results…

Tokyo Whisky & Spirits Competition


First held in 2019, The Tokyo Whisky & Spirits Competition is the only competition in Japan to judge whiskeys and spirits from around the world.

In 2023 an English Distillery (The Lakes) was awarded ‘Best Distillery of the Year’

11 English Whisky Guild | Annual Review 2024 englishwhiskyguild.com TIME TO CELEBRATE

The vision

The birth and rise of English Whisky…

In tracing the origins of contemporary English Whisky, one finds stories both of revival and innovation. While Scotch and Irish whisky boast centuries of tradition, English Whisky, with its recent emergence, offers a fresh perspective on the age-old craft.

Historical records hint at distilling practices in England centuries ago, but the art of whisky making as we know it today had faded into obscurity. It wasn’t until the early 2000s that the first whispers of a new era began to surface.

In 2003, Hicks and Healey ignited the spark of English Whisky production, utilising wash from St. Austell brewery to craft their first batch. Norfolk saw the birth of the first complete whisky distillery with St. Georges, also known as The English Distillery, leading the charge. This marked a significant milestone for English Whisky, paving the way for a gradual yet steady growth trajectory. Fast forward to the present, and

England boasts over 55 operational or planned distilleries, scattered across the country. With an abundance of barley and diverse cereal types, these distilleries, predominantly small-scale and micro, showcase the richness of England’s whisky landscape. Back on page 6, you will find a map of the English Whisky Guild members which we have developed to capture the dynamic evolution of this burgeoning industry.

The formation of the English Whisky Guild signals a collective effort towards establishing a legal definition and Geographical Indication (GI) for English Whisky (see page 8 and 9 for the English Whisky Geographical Indication feature). This framework sets the stage for authenticity and quality assurance within the industry.

English distilleries, though smaller in scale compared to their Scottish counterparts, exhibit remarkable potential. With estimated annual sales of 50,000 cases and a growing production capacity, English Whisky

presents an enticing prospect for enthusiasts and investors alike.

As capacity expands and operations mature, English Whisky stands poised to carve its niche in the global market. The recent investment announcements in the sector, exemplified by distilleries such as The Cotswolds Distillery and The Lakes Distillery foreshadows a promising future for the industry.

With each passing year, English distilleries and the whisky they produce are a testament to the dedication, innovation and quality within the industry. As demand for raw materials increases and innovative flavour profiles come to the fore, the future of English Whisky is bright and brimming with potential. ■

“English Whisky, with its recent emergence, offers a fresh perspective on the age-old craft”
English Whisky Guild | Annual Review 2024 englishwhiskyguild.com 12 MEET THE FOUNDERS

A word from the founders

With each distillery, there lies a unique story waiting to be told; yet what distinguishes English Whisky is the privilege of having its founders narrate their own journeys firsthand - a luxury born from its recent inception. Join us as we delve into the narratives of a few of these pioneers, discovering the origins of their remarkable journeys into the world of whisky...

Dr Abbie Jaume

How did you get into the whisky business?

In 2014, a desire to leave the rat race led myself and partner Chris to buy one-way tickets to Australia, in search of sun, sand and adventure. Whilst in Tasmania we stumbled upon a flourishing craft whisky scene. We became fascinated by these small producers and the quality of the whisky they were producing. They inspired in us an absolute dedication to craftsmanship, the importance of honesty and transparency, and further

reinforced our love of adventure. With a mission to bring our discoveries back to England, we gave up our established careers and set up a distillery back home in England, in 2016.

What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced?

Successfully establishing and running a sustainable distillery from scratch with no prior experience has been a huge undertaking. I took the seed of an idea that started in Australia, brought it back to England and nurtured it into a fully operational distillery. This adventure has encompassed planning, funding, construction (Cooper King is self-built

and crowdfunded), through to buying and commissioning kit, designing products and processes and distillation itself. I’ve also learnt how to build and maintain a satisfied and talented team. The biggest learning curve, though, has been doing it all without burning out.

What’s your proudest moment?

It simply has to be the successful launch of our inaugural whisky. It’s the culmination of a 10-year adventure, which has taken us on a wild adventure from Yorkshire to Tasmania and back again! To be able to release a whisky –influenced by the people and landscapes from our journey – for others to enjoy on theirs, has been a wholesome and heartwarming process. The positive response has been just incredible to see, and myself, Chris and the rest of the team are incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved.

What makes English Whisky stand out from the crowd?

The category is experiencing unprecedented growth, and with such a diverse range of incredible producers, it’s an incredibly exciting time to be both whisky drinker and maker. The supportive nature of the English Whisky Guild is a highlight for me. The guild is a community of producers that support each other in producing flavourful spirits to the highest standard, and who champion sustainability, innovation and inclusivity. With a string of international awards and almost 55 distilleries, now is a great time to discover English Whisky. ■

13 English Whisky Guild | Annual Review 2024 englishwhiskyguild.com MEET THE FOUNDERS
Cooper King Distillery

Claire Vaughan

Three facts about you?

I taught Physical Education for over 20 years before founding White Peak Distillery. I have a qualification in Interior Design. My parents have always been teetotal, but my grandma made wine out of anything and as kids we would be allowed to sample before bottling!

How did you get into the whisky business?

My husband and co-founder Max has always been a whisky ‘enthusiast’, inherited from his dad and over the years it became a three-way shared interest. I started out with whisky in my late twenties. It was my dark spirit of choice. Years later, the dream of starting a distillery grew out of a shared interest in an iconic spirit we both love, synonymous with quality and passion, and to make it in a part of the world it’s never been made before. Finding our home at the Wire Works was the tipping point for me because I saw it as a home.

What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced?

In starting any business there are always challenges… and they don’t stop! Each seems big at the time, but you get through them all until the next one. Fortunately, Max and I have the ability to discuss challenges and support each other, which has its pros and cons, but I largely see it as a huge positive.

What’s your proudest moment?

Launching our first Wire Works Whisky. The day was incredible. The online allocation sold out in less than 10 minutes, and then people were queuing from 8am in the morning at the distillery. We received a call to say the main A6 was snarled up with people queuing in cars waiting to get on site. Overwhelmingly the nicest

thing was chatting to customers and the shared sense of pride they had in what we were doing - some had taken the day off work to be there! That’s the power of whisky and the passion it invokes in people. Max and I both had a little moment that day..

What makes English

Whisky stand out from the crowd?

English Whisky is characterised by small, independent distilleries for whom quantity is not likely to be a competitive advantage compared to the huge industry that is Scotch whisky. Instead the focus is small scale, high quality and product innovation, and it seems to be hitting home with consumers

forward in innovation every time, but considering all the small things and the contribution they all can make –keeping an eye on the detail will underpin our evolution.

If your whisky was a car, what would it be?

I’d like to think it was a Land Rover Defender. Beautifully engineered, iconic design standing the test of time, looks good, and can go anywhere with anyone.

If you weren’t in the whisky business, what would you be doing?

I would probably work in education across youth sport and crime. Over the years I’ve seen the power of sport, particularly being part of a team. Having that sense of belonging and turning up for each other, the collective responsibility and just being able to be totally focused in the moment.

Looking ahead, what innovations or developments do you foresee in the English Whisky scene, and how do you hope to contribute to its evolution?

I hope it’s a continuum of English distilleries making great whisky that’s focused on flavour. For us, it’s not necessarily about making huge strides

What’s one aspect of whisky that you wish more people knew or appreciated?

It’s the multiple strands of whiskymaking that contribute to flavour, that’s before it’s even entered the cask. I didn’t appreciate the infinite possibilities available to the whiskymaker in my 20’s. I enjoy people learning about these aspects on our distillery tours, and it always leads to more and more questions, which is great!

If you could enjoy a glass of whisky with anyone, who would it be and why?

That’s an easy one, Max my husband. In 20 years’ time I’d like to think we’ll be heading off to a beach in Cornwall or Scotland to enjoy a 25 year old dram of Wire Works together! Otherwise, Alex Ferguson. I’d love to chat to him about his time at Manchester United, he made management look so easy, recent history tells us it isn’t! ■

English Whisky Guild | Annual Review 2024 englishwhiskyguild.com 14 MEET THE FOUNDERS
White Peak Distillery

of Yorkshire Distillery David Thompson and Tom Mellor

Three facts about you?

We (Tom and Dave) met in the 80s when Tom was a farmer and Dave was working as an Agricultural Merchant selling barley to Tom. Tom was captain of the local Rugby team at the time and heard that Dave was very good. Tom had said that if Dave came and played for Bridlington RUFC, he’d buy grain from him… and they’ve been friends ever since! Dave is an excellent cook. In 2016, he and Rebecca (his wife) were on ‘Chopping Block’ on ITV and won their episode. Tom’s a great guitarist and loves jazz, even naming his dog Django.

place was tricky. This has gotten easier over the years.

How did you get into the whisky business?

It all started with our search to secure the farm’s future and ensure there’s a legacy to leave to the next generation. With years of experience farming malting barley, the Mellor family ventured into brewing in 2003, founding the Wold Top Brewery. The distinctive chalky soil of the Yorkshire Wolds are ideal for growing barley. With expertise in farming and brewing, we expanded into distilling. Surplus barley going to Scotland for whisky inspired us to build a distillery. Led by us (Tom and Dave), and with guidance from Dr. Jim Swan, our two guiding principles are ‘Field to bottle’ and ‘Respecting tradition but doing things our own way’. We are learning from what has come before us but are not afraid to challenge conventional wisdom, e.g. Forsyth stills but with a twist of a four-plate rectifying column as well as the ‘expected’ pot stills.

What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced?

Getting people over the hurdle of ‘but it’s not Scottish’ when they try the whisky. That goes away, but getting people to try it in the first

What’s your proudest moment?

When someone who says they don’t like whisky tries Filey Bay and you see their eyes light up and say ‘Wow, that’s amazing.’ The look on people’s face tells a story!

What makes English Whisky stand out from the crowd?

Respect tradition but innovate to do something different, as well as focusing on local (UK) barley too.

If your whisky had a personality, what would it be?

Warm, welcoming, down-to-earth, bright, fun and loves embracing new ideas.

If you weren’t in the whisky business, what would you be doing?

Riding motorbikes around the world while enjoying the food and drink that we find along the way!

Looking ahead, what innovations or developments do you foresee in the English Whisky scene, and how do you hope to contribute to its evolution?

The major change we can see happening is the approach to

sustainability through the whole process - from soil conservation and the way barley is farmed, to different packaging materials that are lighter and easier for customers to use, reuse and/or recycle. Just planting trees will absolutely not be enough anymore. We’ve been farming regeneratively, with a focus on the soil and land, for a number of years, and are implementing changes to our whole process all the time. However, there’s always more to be done, so whether it’s composting, wild flower sections at the distillery site, extending margins on the farm fields, or evolving our packaging, we’re always looking for ways to improve our impact on the world and hopefully leading the way as we do.

What’s one aspect of whisky that you wish more people knew or appreciated?

It doesn’t have to be old to be good!

If you could enjoy a glass of whisky with anyone, who would it be and why?

Dr. Jim Swan. He was there with us at the start and was instrumental to our still set up and new make profile. He saw us get started and fill casks, but he never got to try Filey Bay Single Malt Whisky. We really wish he had. ■

15 English Whisky Guild | Annual Review 2024 englishwhiskyguild.com MEET THE FOUNDERS


Three facts about you?

I am Northumbrian – through and through, I am a wife and mother, and as the mother of four girls, I am passionate about championing women having a voice.

How did you get into the whisky business?

By chance! I had always dreamed of creating a tourist attraction on the derelict site of my grandfather’s and father’s agricultural haulage business. When someone reminded me that what Northumberland does best is grow barley, the glimmer of a dream to open a whisky distillery started to grow.

But that wasn’t enough - for myself and my husband it has always been about giving something back. A whisky distillery alone would not create enough jobs or prosperity to directly support the local community that we were committed to. So we evolved our dream into a symbiotic model of a whisky distillery and a museum with bistro and retail offers that would attract visitors year-round.

What we didn’t realise was just how much our Anglo-Saxon Museum would fire people’s imagination and give us the basis of our unique brand.

What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced?

Building a £16m whisky distillery and visitor experience meant a million and one questions that needed answering every day for months on end. It is hard to pick out one single challenge. Covid obviously caused a massive hurdle in the middle of the building phase on so many fronts – costs, supply chains, procedures. I think my biggest concern before we opened was whether or not we would be able to find the right staff to tell our story and provide the level of service and hospitality we wanted to be our signature. I needn’t have worried. We have created 60 jobs (42 FTE) and the majority are people living locally. They live and breathe our passion and brand values and make every visitor’s experience memorable.

What’s your proudest moment?

The moment that my heart swelled and I knew the dream was becoming reality. It was in March 2022 when the hand-beaten stills from Forsyths in Rothes arrived in procession down Wooler High Street. The first truck was driven by Jake, who had worked for my father for 50 years. I told him he wasn’t allowed to retire until the stills arrived. The second truck was driven by my daughter Naomi, who, in lockdown, had trained as a truck driver. I couldn’t stop the tears when I saw her. I was so proud. The whole of the town turned out, the street was dressed with bunting, the children waved flags and the stills were welcomed in by Northumbrian pipers.

What makes English Whisky stand out from the crowd?

I love the way English Whisky is starting to grow in stature. We are all so individual as distilleries and our whiskies have real personality. We are respectful of all the whisky making traditions that have come before, but the innovation, flair and genuine passion being invested in English Whisky makes it a body of spirits to be reckoned with.

If your whisky had a personality, what would it be?

We couldn’t possibly predict – as our Director of Distilling says – our single malt will be ‘ready when it’s ready’. But, I’m sure that what we produce will reflect the delicate flavours of our environment.

If you weren’t in the whisky business, what would you be doing?

I would hope I would be at home relaxing and spending more time with family but that seems a faraway dream. The reality is I’ve always been a busy person, so whatever I would be doing I would be throwing myself into it one hundred miles per hour.

Looking ahead, what innovations or developments do you foresee in the English Whisky scene, and how do you hope to contribute to its evolution?

We are committed to creating great whisky that is synonymous with the warmth of a Northumbrian welcome and timeless hospitality. A whisky to be shared in moments that matter. If we achieve all that we will have more than contributed to putting English Whisky on everyone’s lips.

What’s one aspect of whisky that you wish more people knew or appreciated?

I wish more women were tempted to try it, it can be a really smooth palatable sophisticated drink – it doesn’t have to be the fiery eyewatering male domain many think it is!

If you could enjoy a glass of whisky with anyone, who would it be and why?

This is hard – but I think Condoleezza Rice, the former US Secretary of State. She would have so much of interest to talk about, she has influence in a man’s world and she has faith. I think we could happily put the world to rights over a glass of whisky or two. ■

English Whisky Guild | Annual Review 2024 englishwhiskyguild.com 16
Photo credit Sally Ann Norman

previously known as The Oxford Artisan Distillery

Tagore Ramoutar

Three facts about you?

I am a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society – and having a strong belief and interest in a sense of place is fundamental to me. I have sold over 5,000 children’s books. Strangely I have enjoyed leading the Guild’s work on the Geographical Indication for English Whisky and also participating in the Panel for the BSI Standard for British Whisky

How did you get into the whisky business?

I have a real passion for start-ups and have loved whisky since my early 20s. In April 2014 I attended a networking event for start-ups in London where I heard Tom Nicholson talk about his dream for setting up a Rye Whisky Distillery in Oxford. All that summer, I worked with Tom on a plan for the distillery and from there The Oxford Artisan Distillery was born. I am now involved with three distilleries that are either producing or planning to produce in English Whisky

What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced?

Continuous fund raising. Setting up a distillery has been a story of almost continuous fundraising and it makes it difficult to concentrate on the real business of growing the business.

What’s your proudest moment?

There are several highlights in my work life: The day The Oxford Artisan Distillery opened on 27 July 2017, followed closely by the first time I hosted a two and a half hour Founder’s tour and realised people were really interested in our story. I was also pretty proud when I won the Institute of Directors Director of the Year for Start-ups in London and the South in 2019 for the distillery.

What makes English Whisky stand out from the crowd?

For what is inevitably usually a young whisky there is typically a surprising balance of warmth but lack of burn in most English Whiskies. It is a whisky making region of subtle complexity and interesting whiskies. Each whisky has a different taste profile and style making the journey of discovery all the more rewarding.

If your whisky had a personality, what would it be?

Warm, smooth and surprisingly sophisticated. Someone you would want to share an hour or two with.

If you weren’t in the whisky business, what would you be doing?

I have a real passion for market entries and new businesses, so I am sure I would be involved in a start-up probably looking at strategy, product development and go-to-market planning.

Looking ahead, what innovations or developments do you foresee in the English Whisky scene, and how do you hope to contribute to its evolution?

I think the English Whisky Geographical Indication (GI) is likely to be the one of biggest drivers for the English Whisky category in the

coming years; it will help drive consumer and trade awareness, standards, innovation and ultimately establishment of England as a recognised important whisky making region and one of the four nations of UK whisky making. In terms of my contribution I am lucky to have led the work on the English Whisky GI for the guild for the last three years and I hope to deliver the English Whisky GI in 2024; and support its adoption and awareness in the coming months and years.

What’s one aspect of whisky that you wish more people knew or appreciated?

The sense of place, grain and terroir that infuses all whiskies, often from the name through to the unique landscape that gives birth to each whisky. For me whisky is rooted in the geography of its creation.

If you could enjoy a glass of whisky with anyone, who would it be and why?

I always struggle with this sort of question, but I think it would be with the master distiller, blender, or founder of the whisky I am drinking. The insight to the flavour profiles and story of creation would enhance my enjoyment. ■

17 English Whisky Guild | Annual Review 2024 englishwhiskyguild.com MEET THE FOUNDERS
Fielden Distillery,

inspired me to delve deeper into the category.

Three facts about you?

I think compassion is underrated, I love a good Toronto and coffee keeps the show going.

How did you get into the whisky business?

Working as a bartender and discovering whisky’s diversity

What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced?

Planning in the context of the last few years of economic uncertainty.

What’s your proudest moment?

In the last few months, keeping the brand and team alive and kicking. In the last year, having the Whisky Show pick one of our single cask rye

whiskies as their first new world whisky bottling was another great achievement for us.

What makes English Whisky stand out from the crowd?

Quality and provenance of course. Most importantly the people behind the distilleries who are pushing and provoking the public to re-think what whisky can be and where it can come from.

If your whisky had a personality, what would it be?

Decent and irreverent with a sense of humour.

If you weren’t in the whisky business, what would you be doing?

Spending more time at home with the kids.

Looking ahead, what innovations or developments do you foresee in the English Whisky scene, and how do you hope to contribute to its evolution?

It will be interesting to see how other grain whiskies start to evolve and grow in the context of a predominantly single malt focus.

What’s one aspect of whisky that you wish more people knew or appreciated?

That whisky can be made anywhere.

If you could enjoy a glass of whisky with anyone, who would it be and why?

Tom Waits because he’s quite the legend and it wouldn’t be just one glass would it? ■

English Whisky Guild | Annual Review 2024 englishwhiskyguild.com 18 MEET THE FOUNDERS
East London Liquor Company Alex Wolpert

Distilling & Associate Member profiles

In this section of our Annual Review, we’re introducing you to the distilleries and our supply chain partners that make up the English Whisky Guild...

MEMBER PROFILE 19 English Whisky Guild | Annual Review 2024 englishwhiskyguild.com

Ad Gefrin AngloSaxon Museum & Whisky Distillery


Ad Gefrin Anglo-Saxon Museum & Whisky Distillery South Road Wooler Northumberland NE71 6NJ

adgefrin.co.uk 01668 281554


Ad Gefrin is an Anglo-Saxon Museum and Whisky Distillery in the heart of Northumberland.

England’s northernmost distillery is like no other. Situated in the heart of some of the finest barley-producing country in the world, with named local farmers growing exclusively for Ad Gefrin and benefiting from pure Cheviot water pumped up from beneath the distillery, the provenance of the whisky couldn’t be better. But what sets us apart is the inspiration behind Ad Gefrin – based on the 7th-century palace of the Northumbrian kings and queens, discovered only a stone’s throw away at the foot of Yeavering Bell. Coupled with the fact that the distillery sits alongside the museum celebrating Northumbria’s Golden Age, it builds a brand founded on the timeless hospitality and welcome celebrated then and now.

Opening in March 2023, we welcomed over 65,000 visitors in the first year – a testament

to the fact that this is no ordinary distillery experience. Walking into the atrium clad in over 9,300 pine tiles, curved like the inside of a barrel and topped with a patinated copper lantern signals that this is something special. The curved floating staircase takes you to the Great Hall, a re-imagining of the 7th century original where immersive film introduces you to the characters of the royal court through the reigns of King Edwin and King Oswald. The museum itself further showcases the archaeological site as a place of power, creativity, language, religion and landscape with artefacts on loan from national institutions as well as those found across Northumberland.

The distillery tours depart from the museum and follow the entire process, from the arrival of the barley to a walk through the distillery floor. Along the way, visitors pause at the mash tun, the Scots pine washbacks, and the two enormous copper stills. They then proceed to the barrel filling room and enjoy a bird’s eye view of the cask store from a special glass gallery. The tasting room is the pièce de résistance, with alchemists leading guests on a multi-sensory tasting journey against the stunning backdrop of the Cheviot Hills and the sound of the Northumbrian pipes.

We produce 100,000 litres of pure alcohol per annum. The Single Malt will be available sometime from 2026 – although it will be ‘ready when it is ready’ according to Director of Distilling, Ben Murphy. The inaugural whisky blend ‘‘Tácnbora’ – meaning ‘standard bearer’ – is a blend of Scottish malt and grain whisky as well as Irish grain whiskies, blended in England, mirroring the origins of three of the people that made up the AngloSaxon Northumbrians (Scottish, Irish, English and Scandinavian). The gin, ‘Thirlings’, and ‘Flyte’ (a whisky cream made from Tácnbora) complete the first spirit range, enhanced by annual limited edition special cask finish releases. In addition there is a suite of blended malt whiskies created exclusively for Ad Gefrin’s founding members – Corenkyn (meaning ‘chosen family’) – as part of a comprehensive package of benefits. Only Corenkyn have the opportunity to purchase casks, which creates a certain amount of urgency for interested investors as the scheme is due to close this year. ■

English Whisky Guild | Annual Review 2024 englishwhiskyguild.com 20 MEMBER PROFILE



The Copper House Distillery East Green, Southwold Suffolk IP18 6JW


01502 727200

customer.services@ adnams.co.uk

Adnams has been standing proudly beside the sea in Southwold for more than 150 years. Our independent spirit gave us the freedom to install a distillery. When we took our first steps into the world of craft distilling we knew we were in it for the long haul. As our spirit started flowing, we had the confidence to start laying down whisky.

How it all began

We’ve been brewing in Southwold since 1872, and that passion for quality is now applied to our spirits. In 2008, we began an innovative program of development, during which our brewhouse was moved to another part of the building. This freed up an area previously housing our old brewing coppers, which was earmarked as the site for a new distillery and went on to inspire its name. With the installation of handmade copper

stills produced by Carl in Germany, the building got a new lease of life and the Copper House Distillery opened in 2010. Nestled into the Sole Bay Brewery in the heart of our historic site in Southwold, it has panoramic views of the town, the lighthouse, and out to sea.

Our sense of place

The relationship we have with Suffolk and our wider environment is fundamental to what we make, and how we make it. We are lucky in East Anglia. We have some of the best malting barley in the world on our doorstep. Most of ours is grown by the extraordinary Holkham Estate - one of the UK’s most pioneering and sustainable rural estates. And if you try our products containing rye, it likely came from our Chairman, Jonathan Adnams, whose farm is just up the road.

Our spirits begin life in our brewhouse, where we produce our wash. We’ve been using our unique dual strain brewing yeast, since the 1940s and wanted it to influence our spirits. A well-controlled fermentation in our brewery enables us to distil a high quality spirit and impart character and complexity.

The true reward comes in finding all your decisions have paid off. Our hands-on approach gives us full traceability and control and gives our whisky every advantage. We tend to use new oak casks to mature our whisky, along with ex-bourbon and various wine casks, sourced from close friends of our wine merchant business.

Doing things the right way

Sustainability is at the heart of what we do. We are determined to reduce our impact and protect our coastal home for the future. We have received the Queen’s Award for Sustainable Development three times and believe that making a positive difference is vital to our long-term success. When you produce whisky, you must look to the future.

We recently reached our 12-year milestone - still a rarity in the world of English Whisky, plus our Rye Malt Whisky has won the ‘Gold Outstanding’ award at IWSC in 2019, and ‘Best English Rye’ at the World Whiskies Awards three times. Our success clearly shows that following a sustainable grain-toglass process enables you to craft worldclass products. ■

21 English Whisky Guild | Annual Review 2024 englishwhiskyguild.com MEMBER PROFILE


Bimber Distillery

56 Sunbeam Road London NW10 6JQ


0203 602 9980


Bimber Distillery

Founded in 2015, Bimber Distillery produces world-class single malt whisky, handcrafted with passion in West London. Our traditional approach to whisky creation combines the finest ingredients with heritage production methods that are rarely seen today, along with an absolute commitment to quality.

Our detailed approach has seen us recognised as a leading light in whisky production and garnered multiple industry awards. Producing a wide array of fruitforward, textural single malts we deliver the ultimate craft whisky experience to a rapidly growing global community of Bimber whisky lovers.

Our Craft

Single farm, locally grown barley

The highest quality barley produces the highest quality whisky. Our two-row

Concerto and Laureate barley is sourced from Fordham and Allen in Hampshire and possesses high-levels of both extractability and fermentability which provide the optimum level of predicted spirit yield and a wide array of complex aromas.

Traditional floor maltings

We believe that traditional floor malted barley is an essential process in producing the highest quality, handcrafted whisky. We partner with Britain’s oldest maltster, Warminster Maltings, who dedicate an entire malting floor solely to Bimber. The resulting malted barley is a unique product of outstanding quality produced to our precise specification.

Low and slow fermentation

At Bimber, we take pride in our long fermentation process. We ferment slowly, for seven days to create a light and fruity whisky. This is more than double the industry average fermentation time – limiting the amount of whisky we can produce but helping us craft the best quality whisky possible just as the finest distilleries did in times past.

Direct fire distillation

We heat our two copper stills the traditional way - with direct fire, rather than steam. This enables a slow but powerful boil which results in a full-bodied spirit with remarkable depth of flavour. Our stills have been custom designed and modified to maximise their copper contact and produce a clean, crisp and light spirit character.

Onsite cooperage

We are fortunate and proud to have our own onsite cooperage. Our coopers check, repair and rechar our casks. This longestablished yet uncommon skill is fundamental to ensuing our carefully crafted spirit is matured in only the finest oak.

The blenders art

We monitor the progress of each of our casks, nosing and tasting regularly to find the optimum moment to bottle our precious whisky. We record the taste profile of every sample so we can ensure our London single malt whisky retains its signature fruit-forward style. ■

English Whisky Guild | Annual Review 2024 englishwhiskyguild.com 22

Information Briggs of Burton PLC

Briggs House Derby Street

Burton on Trent Staffordshire DE14 2LH


01283 566661


Briggs of Burton

We are the engineers behind the world’s biggest distilled spirits brands, focussed on helping our customer achieve their net zero targets, through our committent to sustainable engineering solutions.

Future proofing the distilled spirits industry

Briggs of Burton (Briggs) located in Burton on Trent, England, is focussed on delivering safe, efficient, and sustainable distilleries which produce a range of neat spirits and cocktails. Briggs’ expertise spans from distillery consultancy, site master planning and feasibility studies through to complete turnkey/Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) distillery projects.

Glenmorangie, The Glenlivet, Jim Beam, GlenDronach, and Macallan, to name a few.

For nearly three centuries, Briggs of Burton has been synonymous with providing process systems for the distilled spirits and brewing industries. Today, Briggs have offices located close to its customers with sales and engineering hubs located in England, Scotland, the USA, Mexico, and China. Through the wider Group, Briggs also have shared offices in Thailand, and Japan catering for distilleries across the Southeast Asia Pacific region.

Briggs are investing in and have supported many projects associated with environmental sustainability. The team is helping many customers across the UK and beyond in decarbonisation and supporting distillers in achieving their net-zero targets. Over the last 40 years, this has covered water and energy, notably driving efficiency. This has been on High Temperature Heat Pumps (HTHPs), specifically Vapour Recompression technologies in the stillhouse using either: Thermal (TVR) or Mechanical {MVR), being installed in new and retrofitted to old distillery sites.

Made in Scotland, handcrafted at McMillan Coppersmiths

McMillan Coppersmiths, part of the Briggs of Burton group, located in Prestonpans just outside Scotland, have a long history in applying traditional coppersmithing to major spirit producers. The McMillan Coppersmiths team take great pride in turning copper sheets into iconic copper distillation equipment. McMillan Coppersmiths have built a few English Whisky distilleries including The Lakes Distillery in Cumbria and White Peak Distillery in Derbyshire.

Briggs of Burton has been integral to process systems for whisky brands around the world and has a vision to realise sustainable solutions and innovations to meet the industries targets. Their commitment to environmental stewardship, global outreach, and traditional coppersmithing techniques positions Briggs as a major supplier to the distilled spirits industry.

In the world of whiskies, Briggs have completed upgrades and expansion projects for notable brands like Glen Ord,

Visit the website or speak to a member of the team if you have any questions or want to discuss an upcoming distilling project. ■

23 English Whisky Guild | Annual Review 2024 englishwhiskyguild.com MEMBER PROFILE

Information Catalyst ERP

Box Tree House

Northminster Business Park

Upper Poppleton

York YO26 6QR


0330 380 1609


Catalyst ERP

Manage your entire distillery on a single integrated platform...

The business challenge

Small and mid-sized whisky distillers face challenges in effectively managing customers, orders, supply chain, manufacturing, inventory and financial planning. Visual planning and accurate traceability are often lacking, and real-time quality control checks during production are essential yet cumbersome.

The solution

Catalyst’s Bottle ERP edition of NetSuite is a specialised ERP management solution tailored for the whisky distillery industry. It addresses these challenges by providing user-specific dashboards, customisable automated reports, a visual production planner calendar, label generation for items and real time quality control checks. The solution also offers streamlined warehouse management through the Catalyst WMS Go app.

The benefits

• Automated LPA and duty reporting for HMRC compliance

• Real-time visibility into LPA numbers and duty liabilities

• Portable solution accessible via browser or mobile

Fully integrated cask management

• Ability to track casks and their content

• Manage purchasing and sales of casks, with history and movement automatically tracked

• Age tracking of liquid based on cask and history of liquid

• Supporting regauging, samples, re-racking, mashing, and bottle production

• Automated barcode and label generation of casks, content, cases, and pallets

Efficient manufacturing operation

• Visual production planner calendar for optimal planning

• Label generation for accurate traceability

• Real time quality control checks during the production process

Work order management

• Approval or rejection of quality control tests

• Custom searches and reports for quality control information

• Mobile work order management capturing by-product

Why Catalyst?

At Catalyst ERP we don’t just sell NetSuite Cloud ERP - we make sure you understand what it will cost, how long it will take to be delivered, and ensure you get the most from transforming your business operations. Revel in your unique business needs with a four step implementation methodology that is created around the process of; Understanding, Designing, Planning and Delivering a customised instance of NetSuite with the features and capabilities to suit you. ■

“I’ve worked with SAP, Drams and with stand alone barcode systems - but Bottle ERP is the most integrated platform I’ve ever seen.”

George Gibson

Commercial Director, Ardgowan

English Whisky Guild | Annual Review 2024 englishwhiskyguild.com 24 MEMBER PROFILE

Close Brothers


Close Brothers Unit 1 Kingfisher Park

Headlands Business Park Ringwood Hampshire BH24 3NX

closebreweryrentals.co.uk 01425 485421 enquiries@ closebreweryrentals.co.uk

As inaugural members of the English Whisky Guild we recognise the importance of supporting distilleries bringing exciting products into a competitive market. It requires creativity and determination alongside appropriate funding to support sustainable growth.

The increasing popularity of English Whisky offers a fantastic opportunity for investing in your business’s future. The increased use of online retail and digital platforms has unlocked greater consumer connection and expansion into new markets.

As specialist equipment finance providers, we give you access to the assets you need upfront while allowing you to spread the costs over time.

This straight-forward way to fund is used by many drink industry specialists, but why is it so popular?

Fixed monthly costs

A finance solution from Close Brothers makes it easier to budget. You agree costs over a fixed period, improving overall liquidity and allowing you to make longer term plans.


We can fund a wide range of assets, from CO2 recovery system to the total installation of a new distillery. Using our partnerships with a wide range of approved suppliers, we can offer specialist advice on the sourcing of the equipment.


Our flexible funding solutions can be

tailored to your commercial requirements. We work closely with businesses to match payments to cash flow and can even take seasonal fluctuations into consideration.

Improve cash flow

Equipment finance gives you immediate access to the machinery you need without putting a strain on your cash flow. This enables you to invest working capital elsewhere, for example in people, infrastructure or to support growth plans.

Enable growth

We understand the challenges to raise capital needed for growth while supporting your day-to-day tasks. Our commercial solutions can remove these barriers because a lower initial outlay is required to invest in new assets.

Increase productivity

The right funding can make your production processes more effective. By using equipment finance to upgrade your systems or invest in new machinery, you could save your business time, boost output and increase margins.

Specialist support

Our experts will take time to understand your unique commercial pressures and aims. We can fund new technology, but we also know that traditional assets, from dry goods handling to fermentation, are essential.

Finding a funding partner that is right for you

SMEs often require a dynamic approach beyond business as usual. Close Brothers’ long-term approach is often lauded as the reason for their resilience in turbulent times.

“We have a reputation as a responsible bank with a distinctive business model and specialist expertise,” says Ross Mair, MD of Close Brothers Brewery Rentals.

“We are supportive of SMEs, no matter their stage of development and want to see the English Whisky industry use that support and transform it into innovative solutions for their businesses and their communities.”

For more information visit closebreweryrentals.co.uk. ■

25 English Whisky Guild | Annual Review 2024 englishwhiskyguild.com


Cooper King Distillery

The Old Stable Stillington Road

Sutton-on-the-Forest York

North Yorkshire YO61 1EH

cooperkingdistillery.co.uk 01347 808232

info@cooperkingdistillery. co.uk

Cooper King Distillery

Inspired by wild adventures in Tasmania, we came together with friends, family and founders to turn a daring dream into reality: to self-build an independent distillery from scratch.

Founded by Dr Abbie Jaume, a former scientist and Chris Jaume, a chartered architect, we are a crowdfunded whisky distillery near York, producing sustainable spirits distilled with craftsmanship, honesty, and adventure.


In 2014, a desire to leave the rat race led us to buy one-way tickets to Australia, in search of sun, sand and adventure. Whilst in Tasmania we stumbled upon a flourishing craft whisky scene. We became fascinated by these small producers and the quality of the whisky they were producing.

They inspired in us an absolute dedication to craftsmanship, the importance of honesty and transparency, and further reinforced our love of adventure. With a mission to bring our discoveries back to England, we gave up our established careers and set up a distillery back home in England, in 2016.

Yorkshire roots

Inspired by Chris’s great-great-grandfather, Charles Cooper King, the name Cooper King has rich historical ties to England and

Yorkshire. Born in 1843, Charles - who was Lieutenant Colonel in the Royal Marine Artillery - traced the Cooper King family history back to 1030, where he identified the Pigot family of Yorkshire, whose shield can still be seen today carved into the stonework throughout Ripon Cathedral.


We are committed to leading the fight against climate change within the spirits industry, as we believe drinking good spirits needn’t cost the Earth.

Cooper King spirits are the first in Europe to join the global initiative 1% for the Planet. This means we formally pledge to donate at least 1 percent of all sales to our partner charity, Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust (YDMT). To date, we’ve donated £30,000 to support YDMT’s tree planting and wildflower restoration work in the Yorkshire Dales.

We’re one of only a handful of distilleries in the UK to run on 100 percent renewable energy from day one. Even our maturation warehouse is ventilated by a 100 percent solar-powered system!

Our first publicly available whisky - the First Edition - is the first in England to be distilled using net zero energy. This achievement is the result of six years’ dedication to sustainability, and is 27 years ahead of the UK Government’s 2050 net zero target. We were absolutely blown away by the response from our customers: this release sold out in under 10 minutes.


Floor-malted heritage grains are handmashed, long fermented, copper pot distilled, matured and bottled in our distillery. This creates an authentic whisky, influenced by our Yorkshire surroundings and inspired by experiences in Tasmania.

We donate £5 from the sale of every bottle of whisky to YDMT, to fund one rural apprentice each year through their Rural Apprenticeship Scheme. This provides life-changing opportunities for young people in rural areas, to help protect vital UK habitats.


You can visit us every Saturday 12-6pm for a taste, a tour, or to enjoy a dram at the bar. ■

English Whisky Guild | Annual Review 2024 englishwhiskyguild.com 26

Masthouse Whisky


Copper Rivet Distillery

Pumphouse Number 5

Leviathan Way

Chatham Maritime Kent


copperrivetdistillery.com 01634 931122

enquiries@ copperrivetdistillery.com

Copper Rivet Distillery is home to Masthouse Single Malt and Masthouse Single Grain Whisky which are the embodiment of our obsession with character and flavour in new make whisky.

The distillery is nestled in the warm south east – less than an hour from London – in Chatham, Kent. It stands as a testament to our hometown’s rich heritage and resolute spirit of craftsmanship and innovation once found at the former Royal (now historic) Naval Dockyard where we’re based.

We marry engineering and the science of distilling with the art of whisky making. Everything begins with a profile of the distillate we have in mind and what we want the drinker to experience with each sip. Masthouse Whisky’s character is led by soft approachability and smoothness which make it accessible to those who are new to whisky and is supported by layers of flavour which fascinate seasoned connoisseurs.

To achieve this balance we draw on our great respect for tradition and our passion for innovation. We designed proprietary stills and wrought them ourselves in partnership with local craftsmen who, no doubt, would once have been working in the great dockyard. So, depending on the expression, Masthouse Whisky is, almost uniquely, distilled in classic pot stills and also a sequence of our pot still and then our 40

plate, ten metre tall hybrid still. While each step is rigorously engineered and deeply analysed, everything we do is manual and on the nose.

We work backwards from the spirit collection and look at each step in the process to see how and where we can build structure, flavour and smoothness and this leads to careful adjustments to still temperature, fermentation times (which are typically at least seven days), sparging and temperature profiling at mashing in. We also choose grain varieties carefully and they’re grown especially for Masthouse Whisky within 20 miles of the distillery allowing for some of the lowest food miles in the industry.

Once the distillate is collected it is generally matured in ex-bourbon casks to allow the drinker to explore the whisky’s distillery character. Quality trumps quantity and we place a strict limit on production output which, to date, has not exceeded 350 casks in a single year. This allows us to accommodate elements of the process, such as fermentation, which takes time.

Copper Rivet Distillery is a family endeavour which began in 2011 and finally opened in 2016. Bob, Matthew and Stephen Russell (a father and his two sons) teamed up with Abhishek Banik from Herriot Watt’s International Centre of Brewing and Distilling to embark on a mission to put their hometown on the map as distilling centre of excellence, just as it once was a world class shipbuilding town. The stunning heritage building sits proudly on the banks of the River Medway and is home to the distillery’s very own casual fine dining restaurant and cocktail bar – The Pumproom @ Copper Rivet Distillery which we believe complements our ultra craft approach to making incredible whisky. ■

27 English Whisky Guild | Annual Review 2024 englishwhiskyguild.com

Cotswolds Distillery

Distillery opened in July 2014. Located just outside the beautiful village of Stourton, we welcome over 30,000 people to our distillery each year, offering visitors the chance to get up close and personal with our full range of outstanding natural spirits.


The Cotswolds Distillery Phillips Field Whichford Road Stourton

Shipston on Stour Warwickshire

CV36 5EX


01608 238533

info@cotswoldsdistillery. com

Nestled amongst the rolling hills of the Cotswolds countryside, the Cotswolds Distillery was born from a dream to produce outstanding natural spirits in one of the most beautiful regions in the world...

Our distillery opened its doors in 2014 and is the first full-scale distillery within the Cotswolds - a designated area of outstanding natural beauty. From our single malt whiskies to our gins and liqueurs, everything we make is about quality and flavour above all else.

After three years of eager anticipation, in October 2017 we released our Cotswolds Signature Single Malt Whisky, the first whisky ever to be distilled in the Cotswolds and the one which remains at the heart of our DNA.

In 2019, we opened our visitor centre which includes a shop filled with our full range of outstanding natural spirits. Our visitor centre also features a beautiful and spacious café offering delicious food and, of course, a range of cocktails all throughout the day. Our menus are carefully crafted using locally sourced ingredients.

It all started back in 2014, when our founder Dan, a native New Yorker, moved to the Cotswolds after working in finance in London for many years. Seeking to leave behind that world and spend more time in the picturesque countryside of the Cotswolds with his family, it eventually dawned on him that he could combine his love of whisky with his desire to start a new business. A dedicated whisky fan, Dan saw the fields of golden barley around his house in the Cotswolds and had a brainwave: “I suddenly thought, there’s barley all over the Cotswolds and nobody’s distilling it, let’s be the first!’”

Having found a derelict site near his house, he set about building a distillery and a team to run it, and the doors of the Cotswolds

In 2022, we completed the build of our brand-new whisky distillery, allowing us to match our output to our ambitions. We now have a two-tonne mash tun and the capacity to produce a whopping 500,000 LPA per year! The production protocols still follow a 92-hour fermentation, with high cut points on spirit still to get a lighter, fruity spirit.

We also have big ambitions when it comes to sustainability, with our Wetlands Project progressing nicely. In nature there is no waste because the waste of one organism is food for another. The wetlands will allow us to dispose effluent water waste on site, without the need for transport, minimising our carbon footprint and creating a biodiverse environment and habitat for nature to thrive. ■

English Whisky Guild | Annual Review 2024 englishwhiskyguild.com 28


East London Liquor Co.

Unit GF1

Bow Wharf 221 Grove Road London E3 5SN eastlondonliquorcompany. com

distilling@eastlondon liquorcompany.com

East London Liquor Co.

Based in the heart of London’s East End, East London Liquor aren’t short of old practices, they just choose to ignore them. Favouring what’s to come over what’s come before.

What are we all about?

For the last ten years, we’ve been best known for our neon-topped no-nonsense gin, vodka and rum making their way across back bars and grocery shelves up and down the UK.

In 2022, things went up a notch when our Rye and Single Malt whiskies joined the line up, showing just how seriously we take our approach to no frills, no fuss booze.

time on overpriced and underwhelming booze that hide behind distiller’s life stories, staid tradition and rules for rule’s sake. Rather than follow a path well trodden, we’re most comfortable coming at our production out of left field. Far from hanging our hat on age statements, water sources and tried and tested barrel ageing combinations, we are a team that’s led by flavour and only flavour.

Led by flavour and only flavour, you say?

London is a melting pot of people and culture. Our whisky is designed to reflect that. Our production facility is centred around experimentation, with the brew house being the main event when it comes to extracting as much punch and funk as the grain and yeast allows. Our open top fermentation tanks are filled and left for up to 120 hours as the team tinker with lactic acid rests, spontaneous fermentations, smoked grains and yeast strains you won’t usually find on a distillery shelf.

Our Rye and Single Malt may be mainstays of our offering, but our philosophy for each year’s release sees the liquid grow with them, morphing and evolving in a way that only time and experience can coax.

Every moment that isn’t spent on our staple expressions leaves room for a motley crew of special edition releases. Our Winemaker Series houses cosmic combinations of liquid and wood, like our Single Malt finished in Radikon Merlot, which could just be the first whisky to be aged in a natural wine barrel on the planet. Our Beermaker Series is no wallflower either, with experimental, collaborative brews seeing us distil the mash bill of neighbouring Hackney brewery’s 40FT stout.

Whisky for… who?

Our booze isn’t just for Londoners, which is why it’s poured left right and centre in more than 200 outlets up and down the country. Our iconic neon topped bottles are a universal invitation to drink your whisky, your way. “Pour it into a tumbler or tea cup (we) don’t judge”, a message that’s already landing with drinkers in export markets as far as the Nordics, China and Australia.

Named after the place and soaked in its spirit, East London Liquor exists to call

Not bad for a bunch of renegades based out of Hackney, E3. ■

29 English Whisky Guild | Annual Review 2024 englishwhiskyguild.com


Ellers Farm Distillery

Stamford Bridge York

YO41 1AR

ellersfarmdistillery.com 01904 208063 enquiries@ellersfarm. com

Ellers Farm

In the beautiful North Yorkshire countryside you will find Ellers Farm Distillery...

When we built Ellers Farm Distillery, nestled in the beautiful North Yorkshire countryside in 2020, the simple but ambitious idea was and remains ‘to pursue sustainable perfection’. This passion led us here, on a journey striving to create an exceptional English single malt born from the pastures around us in the most sustainable way. It is this commitment to quality and nature that attracted global superstar Ricky Gervais to become a co-owner. Combining the finest locally sourced ingredients, our state-of-the-art equipment, as well as the expertise of our Master Distiller and his team delicately guiding flavour, our whisky is one worth waiting for. Until then, our New Make spirit is ‘The Bairn’, and is already making a name for itself in the whisky space by taking gold at Global World Whisky Masters 2023. In November 2023, we also announced the completion of our Founders Release programme, having sold 38 200-litre

casks priced at £8,000 each; one of the highest average sale prices of any first cask release programme in the UK.

Our partnership with Theakston Starting life in the pearl barley fields of East Yorkshire, ‘The Bairn’ is made using our Distiller’s Beer - a premium porter-style beer (minus the hops) packed with notes of cherry, ripe bananas and toasted malt, with a sweet and creamy richness. In a unique collaboration with the legendary Theakston Brewery of Masham, with nearly 200 years of brewing heritage, we set out to give our single malt maximum flavour from the start. Traditional whisky distilleries spend a fraction of the time creating a rudimentary whisky beer (the ‘wash’) that you’d prefer not to drink on its own. You could drink ours with your Sunday roast.

What is The Evolution Collection?

First releases are highly sought-after by passionate collectors, only ever being produced once in the history of a distillery. The Evolution Collection is a rare opportunity in the growing English Whisky market that will offer a small group of whisky enthusiasts the exclusive chance to join us on the exciting journey as our ageing new make matures for three years in first-fill bourbon American oak casks from Heaven Hill Distillery in Kentucky, United States.

A limited-edition run of only 500 sets, each collection follows our ageing ‘The Bairn’ New Make spirit bottled at 0, 6, 12, 18 and 24 months, at every stage of its flavour evolution. It is a coming of age that culminates in an individually numbered bottle of our first release single malt whisky - one of only 1,000.

The future of our Whisky

Once our single malt whisky reaches maturity and we bottle the first release in late 2025, it doesn’t stop there. As a certified B Corp distillery, we know offsetting isn’t a long-term solution or even a replacement for carbon reduction, and so we’ve set a goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2040 at the latest. That’s why we’re working hard to decarbonise our own operation and work with supply chain partners who share our goals. ■

English Whisky Guild | Annual Review 2024 englishwhiskyguild.com 30 MEMBER PROFILE

Ellis IP


Ellis IP Ltd

53/4 George Street

Edinburgh EH2 2HT


0131 225 4063


We are IP experts – you own IP that must be managed, protected and commercialised to add value to your business. Your business priorities dictate how we determine and provide services to you; how we help you understand, capture, protect, manage and commercialise your IP rights.

What we do

We carry out IP audits and investor readiness reviews. We provide brand protection, TM availability searches, UK and international TM registrations, and monitoring for infringing TM use and help resolve disputes. We protect innovations and

designs through patent and design systems internationally and manage IP portfolios. We are also experienced in providing IP training and education.

How we can help

We have an holistic approach. We provide services particular to you, designed to complement your commercial objectives and your business style. We believe in transparent pricing, and our costs will be made clear from the outset – no hidden ‘extras’. The work we do will fit your commercial objectives and add value. We want to communicate without hesitation and we want you to do the same.

Why work with us?

To add value to your business.

We support brand owners in a broad range of sectors including food and drink, consumer goods, product design, medical and innovative technologies.

We work in a range of industry sectors in protecting innovations. We particularly support cleantech, medical and chemistry and materials sectors, as well as some particular and niche business areas.

Why the English Whisky Guild?

We are proud to be an Associate Member of the English Whisky Guild. English Whisky, being at the leading edge of innovation in the new world whisky movement, reflects much of what we at Ellis IP consider our world. Mould-breakers. Where tradition and innovation collide. Competitive uniqueness. Developing a brand, as a movement and individually.

We look forward to helping the English Whisky Guild and its members achieve their collective goals. ■

“The work we do will fit your commercial objectives and add value. Our approach may be characterised as bespoke and holistic, with a flexible attitude and clear communication.”

31 English Whisky Guild | Annual Review 2024 englishwhiskyguild.com MEMBER PROFILE


The Elsham Wold Distillery

The Flarepath


DN20 0NX

elshamwolddistillery.co.uk 01652 686916

info@elshamwolddistillery. co.uk

Elsham Wold Distillery

Founded by three families with more than a century of potato growing heritage, the Elsham Wold Distillery is located on the border of North Lincolnshire and Yorkshire; just a few miles from where the base ingredient for our flagship vodka – the King Edward potato –was first cultivated back in 1902.

The Elsham Wold Distillery started its distilling journey in 2020 with the release of ‘Edwards 1902’ English potato vodka. Taking a single variety of potato grown across local fields ‘from soil to spirit’ - we transformed them into a uniquely smooth

English vodka which has gone on to achieve international recognition thanks to our multitude of awards and gold medals.

With the success of the vodka continuing to gain momentum, it was soon apparent that the pursuit of a truly great single malt whisky was always top of the list for distillers and co-founders Matthew and Ben.

“Crafting malt whisky allows us to put a heap of personality into the liquids that we’re making, offering opportunities to experiment and to create flavour that aren’t as easy to come across when making vodka,” says Matthew. “I always think of a whisky warehouse like the pallet of an artist, except instead of paint we have liquids with different flavours, colours and aromas that we can use to create a truly multi-sensory experience for the consumer”.

We work with what we believe is some of Yorkshire’s finest malt barley, with provenance and quality forming the backbone of everything we do here at Elsham. With this and sustainability at the forefront of everyone’s mind, the site currently utilises solar panels to offset the carbon footprint of our production, and any waste material is used locally to produce green energy, or to fertilise the land.

“Having no prior experience in distillation, but with a firm grounding of first principles, we were able to build our processes and tailor our approach to creating spirits without any pre-determined ideas of how things ‘should’ be done. We were lucky enough to not be beholden to the statement ‘this is how it’s always been done’ - which so often stands in the way of progress and creativity,” adds Ben.

Over the coming years we hope to create a fantastic collection of small-batch whiskies, and nothing will go into a bottle unless we believe it to be truly special.

Following the successful launch of the first in a three-part release ‘The Flarepath Series’ back in 2023, recognising the history and significance of the location of which the distillery now sits – RAF Elsham Wold - the distillery is now home to almost 100 casks and growing. We have also introduced a successful ‘cask club’, which is attracting significant interest for people looking to invest in their own piece of English Whisky making history. ■

English Whisky Guild | Annual Review 2024 englishwhiskyguild.com 32


The English Distillery Harling Road Roudham Norfolk NR16 2QW


01953 717939


The English Distillery

Renowned as the pioneers of English whisky and England’s oldest registered whisky distillery, maker of the World’s Best Single Malt 2024. The English Distillery has a unique place in history. In 1901 the last recorded whisky distillery in England swapped from whisky to gin production before being destroyed by fire. This saw the end of whisky making in England until The English Whisky Co. was granted a license in 2006, making it the first registered, operational whisky distillery in England for over 100 years. In 2007, the distillery was officially opened by HRH King Charles.

The distillery was the lifelong dream of founder James Nelstrop. Having previously farmed in England and Australia, he was determined his next career move was to open a whisky distillery that’s only goal was to make world class single malt whisky; this simple goal is the same rule that the we operate by today. The distillery is now owned and run by his son Andrew Nelstrop who also served as the founding chairman of the English Whisky Guild.

To achieve the goal set out by the founder, the barley used, is sourced from both the Nelstrop family farms and locally; the water needed, comes from the aquifer beneath the distillery. Waste grain and liquid from the distilling process are turned into cattle feed and fertiliser for local farms. The distillation process is over 90% more efficient than a traditional distillery as all of our cooling water is kept in a closed seal loop and returned to the ground after use. This reduces the use of ground water by around 94% and by removing heat from the water, and the use of solar panels, the need for fossil fuels has been significantly reduced.

The distillery, based in Norfolk, has become a tourist destination. The offering of daily tours, a wonderful bistro, conference facilities and ten acres for dog walking alongside the River Thet results in 80,000 visitors per year.

Making single malt whisky from a traditional pair of copper stills, the distillery has been laying down casks for nearly 18 years. Maturation mainly uses ASB (American Standard Barrel), sherry and rum casks along with many other types of finishing barrels. The cask release plan stretches for 50 years, ensuring economic sustainability for generations.

The English single malts have won numerous awards fulfilling the founders’ ambition to make world class whisky, with the most recent being Worlds best Single Malt Whisky 2024.

Today our whiskies can be bought in over 30 countries around the world. ■

“The offering of daily tours, a wonderful bistro, conference facilities and ten acres for dog walking alongside the River Thet results in 80k visitors per year”

33 English Whisky Guild | Annual Review 2024 englishwhiskyguild.com MEMBER PROFILE

Information Fielden Distillery

Old Depot

South Park

Cheney Lane Headington

Oxford OX3 7QJ


01865 767918

Fielden Distillery

The English Whisky that’s changing farming, field by field, harvest by harvest.

What’s whisky got to do with farming?

Everything. Whisky is an agricultural product, but most grain in England is grown industrially, with chemicals. Not on Fielden’s farms. Fielden is bringing England’s fields back to life by planting heritage grains that grew here centuries ago. Our farmers work with nature and never use chemicals. Instead, the grain grows in clover, a natural fertiliser that helps the soil stay healthy. Our grain grows tall and strong. Our fields are wild and glorious. And our whisky is full of flavour: think warm flaky pastry, butter and caramel.

Formerly known as The Oxford Artisan Distillery, we’ve always been committed to making the world’s most sustainable spirits. However, our mission goes further than sustainable whisky, it’s a rallying cry to show people what’s wrong with industrially-grown grain and how we’re changing farming sustainably, from the ground up. We want to

take this message to the world, which is why we’re rebranding - we want people to hear our message loud and clear! So while our distillery, stills and casks play their roles, our primary focus is on the fields. It’s about more than provenance. The grains we grow and the land we grow them on makes a difference to our whisky, to farming and to our planet.

Our grains grow deeper roots and take in more nutrients from the soil. It means putting the best, completely natural ingredients into our stills. This commitment to quality extends to our whisky making, with our new production facility at the Yorkshire Distilling Co planned to start later in 2024. A high degree of automation will ensure consistent processing of grains. Grain will be processed through a mash cooker and two-tonne mash filter for optimum extraction and energy efficiency. Our core rye whisky recipe of malted rye, malted barley and unmalted rye and wheat will remain the same. We’ll mash, ferment and distill on grain - like a majority of US distilleries - so the grain gives more of its character during distillation, contributing to a heavier and oilier spirit.

We’re changing how we grow grain for the better, field by field, harvest by harvest.

Fielden’s first bottle of Rye Whisky will be released in May 2024. ■

English Whisky Guild | Annual Review 2024 englishwhiskyguild.com 34 MEMBER PROFILE
‘Specialists in Distillation Equipment Worldwide’ Turnkey Distillery Design & Build www.forsyths.com enquiries@forsyths.com +44 (0) 1340 831787 Working together with our Design & Electrical partners to deliver the desired bespoke Turnkey distillery Pot Stills, Column Stills & Hybrid Stills Fabrication - Stainless, Brass & Carbon Mash Tuns Tanks & Vessels Spirit Safes Process & Mechanical Design Site Installations Aftersales & Maintenance Commissioning


Henstone Distillery

Dingle Farm


Welshpool SY21 8EG


07807 803592

info@henstonedistillery. com

Henstone Distillery

Established in 2016 by Chris Toller, his wife, Alexandra, and a couple of friends, Henstone Distillery continues to grow. Based in North Shropshire, we are in a beautiful part of the country. Being an early part of the emerging English Whisky category we have been on the map (thank you to our friends at Cooper King) from 2016 when there were only 14 distilleries and we were only a twinkle in Chris’ eye. Since then we have seen the numbers grow to 25 in 2018 and some 55 in 2024.

We started whisky production immediately after our 1000 litre pot/column hybrid still was installed in November 2017 and filled initial barrels in January 2018. Concentrating on quality and flavour we ferment for 10 – 11 days until the wash is dry

(with a specific gravity of 1000 or less) resulting in lots of fruit flavours coming through in the final product. Being based in England means we can innovate and our pot/ column hybrid still allows us to do just that – producing very high ABV new make spirit which is full of flavour and incredibly smooth. Our initial release took place in January 2021 smack bang in the middle of Covid so we were forced to have our launch party over Zoom! Every release is Single Cask meaning there will, by nature, be variation in flavour, nose and colour. It also means each release is limited to 360 bottles or less depending on cask size. Apart from our flagship Ex-Bourbon Cask Matured Single Malt English Whisky we also have a number of other offerings including ex-sherry cask finishes, ex-peated cask finishes, and a Southern Hemisphere Ex-Red Wine Cask Aged Single Malt English Whisky. Another two or three expressions are on our product road map for release in 2024/5.

Following its release in 2021, our ExBourbon Cask Aged Single Malt English Whisky won a gold medal in the Sprits Business Global World Whisky Masters Competition 2022!

The future

In 2023 we went through a company restructure with two of the original founders leaving. Their 50 percent share was subsequently sold to a local entrepreneur who has ambitions aligned with Chris and Alexandra. As a result of the restructure we are now in the process of moving the distillery to a new, even more rural, location on a North Shropshire farm. Our plans also now include significantly increasing whisky production as well as having two distilleries on one site but in different countries so watch this space!

Other products

As well as whisky we also produce a range of gins, vodka, brandy, rum and a bourbon equivalent. The vast majority of our products are award winners and we have also won Distillery of the Year TWICE in the prestigious Gin Guide Awards. We were also absolutely delighted to win Rum: Local Heroes: UK based production: Henstone Distillery, Golden Rum in the Peoples’ Choice Awards 2023. ■

English Whisky Guild | Annual Review 2024 englishwhiskyguild.com 36 MEMBER PROFILE

Howden, your Whisky Insurance Specialists

The team at Howden have an in-depth knowledge of the inherent risks and processes associated with the whisky distilling process.

We know that like good malts, every distillery is different. Whether it be the temperature of the mash, fermentation times, the size and design of the still, the strength of the cut, maturation methods and distribution, each is unique to the distillery.

This also applies to insurance, it must be tailored to the risks of the whisky industry, but unique to the business.

With around 20 million casks maturing throughout the UK into the golden water of life in bonded warehouses around the country adds a complexity for insurance purposes

Our dedicated practice has an unrivalled understanding and knowledge of the insurance challenges facing the whisky sector, our specialist cover areas includes;

HMRC movement guarantees

Maturing of stock insurance

Loss of output protection

Engineering breakdown

Duty liability

Worldwide goods in transit Get

for a chat or a commitment free audit of your current insurance practices: Alana McCulloch | Whisky Account Executive alana.mcculloch@howdeninsurance.co.uk | 07935707409 Howden Scotland Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority No 307415 Registered in Scotland under company registration number SC207315 Registered Office: 76 Coburg Street Edinburgh EH6 6HJ Calls may be monitored and recorded for quality assurance purposes
in touch


The Lakes Distillery


Near Bassenthwaite Lake Cumbria CA13 9SJ

017687 88850



The Lakes Distillery

Inspired by the ever-evolving landscape of the Lake District National Park, The Lakes Distillery is one of the pioneers of English whisky-making.

A founding member of the English Whisky Guild, we are reframing our craft through a forward-looking lens and a modern approach that weaves together the artistry of centuries-old techniques with a relentless pursuit of flavour creation.

Experts in sherry cask maturation, flavour sits at the heart of everything we do. This includes using multiple yeast strains to a long fermentation, a narrow cut, and the

combination of copper and stainless-steel condensers we use to make our fruity cereal New Make. Every decision is deliberate, and every detail is carefully considered.

With first-fill casks handmade to bespoke specifications and seasoned to exacting requirements in Jerez, Andalucía, at The Lakes, we use the finest sherry casks to create the characters of our Signature single malt.

During maturation, our expertise in sherry wood shines through. Meticulously selecting and seasoning our casks with a variety of sherry types to create an array of different flavours, aromas, and textures, what really sets us apart is our use of élevage.

A painstakingly detailed approach to maturation, unlike conventional practices, the art of élevage is not a waiting game but a dynamic journey marked by proactive change, vision, and meticulous attention to detail.

Conducting the interplay between spirit, oak, and air, The Lakes’ Whiskymaker makes intentional movements between, to, and within the casks to evolve new character complexity, depth, and multiple layers of flavour combinations.

With the casks becoming vessels of transformation, to nurture the whisky along a designed path of evolution, it is only by knowing each cask intimatelyhow the flavours are evolving and how they can complement, enhance, or contrast with others - that we can create the depth, roundness and harmony that defines The Lakes Single Malt Whisky.

Assemblage plays a key role in our artisanal approach to whisky-making, offering a means to harmonise and accentuate specific flavour profiles. By skilfully combining whiskies from different casks, each infused with its unique character, we create compositions that exceed the individual quality of their parts.

With a global outlook and challenging convention at every step, we encourage the discovery of new and exceptional flavours. With a cluster of international honours already to our name, including being named World’s Best Single Malt Whisky at the 2022 World Whiskies Awards, we are building a reputation for bold, complex, and indulgent single malt whisky. ■

English Whisky Guild | Annual Review 2024 englishwhiskyguild.com 38 MEMBER PROFILE

Information Shropshire Hills Distillery Limited

Unit 1 & 2 Ludlow Farmshop Bromfield Ludlow SY8 2JR

ludlowdistillery.co.uk 07592 580 567 office@ludlowgin.co.uk

Ludlow Distillery

Our distillery is set in the heart of the Welsh Marches, just a few miles from the border, in a delightfully undiscovered part of England, an area of exceptional beauty. The lands between Hereford and Shrewsbury are steeped in history and afford beautiful views from the many hilltop forts, perfect for the location of a small artisan whisky distillery.

Where did it all begin?

Back in 2008, Mike Hardingham, founder of Ludlow Vineyard, purchased a 200-litre German wood-fired still to distil some of his wines into brandy. By 2014, he was granted one of the first licenses of the new generation of English whisky distilleries. Originally set within the barns of his vineyard, in the shadow of the iron age fort of Nordy Bank, it was in a remote, rural, and quite enchanting setting.

First editions of Ludlow Whisky were launched in 2018, winning several prizes and quickly becoming a favourite amongst

passionate whisky aficionados. This super-small batch whisky has a peaty heart, one third of our malt coming from Scotland, a feature we believe to be unique in England.

We’ve recently moved…

In 2023 we relocated to the Ludlow Farm Shop site, which is part of the historic Plymouth Estate, running from beneath the walls of Ludlow Castle northwards into the rolling Shropshire hills. Hundreds of thousands of visitors pass through the Farm Shop every year, giving us a unique opportunity to spread the word for English whisky. The historic market town of Ludlow has become synonymous with fine food in the last 30 years with one of the first food festivals in the world. It’s the perfect place to visit and enjoy the ultimate slow food: whisky.

Since 2021, Ludlow Whisky has been owned by Shaun Ward, founder of Ludlow Gin. He first discovered his love for whisky in Orkney, which he visited while in his early 20s; since then, he had always dreamed that one day he might make his own. Over the last three years Shaun and his team have released limited editions of cask finished whisky, taking the best of a new tradition created by Mike, and laying down spirit for the future.

Our distillery visitor centre is open seven days a week for tours. As one of the early pioneers, we’re proud to fly the flag for all that is English Whisky. ■

39 English Whisky Guild | Annual Review 2024 englishwhiskyguild.com MEMBER PROFILE


Rankin Brothers & Sons.

Drakes Farm

Drakes Drive

Long Crendon

Aylesbury HP18 9BA


01844 203100


Rankin Brothers & Sons

Since 1774, spanning six generations, the Rankin family has supplied whisky producers with the finest quality cork stoppers and closures for esteemed brands.

In the late 1800’s, William Rankin Jr. ventures to Portugal looking for the best cork growing area in the world. There, he plants the seed that will grow into the family business we are today.

Since then, the family has been custodian for 4,500 acres of prime cork forest, which is the backbone of our business, providing a gorgeous, high-quality, sustainable natural resource for our T Top stoppers, corks and closures. FSC accreditation is evidence of our commitment to managing the forests, which are a unique bio-diverse hotspot, in an ecologically, economically and socially sustainable way, ready for future generations.

We’re fortunate in the UK and Ireland to have pioneering distillers and a diverse range of top-quality spirits right on our doorstep, and we have the solutions to match. We work with you through the development, manufacture and supply of best-in-class stoppers, corks and closures that seal, protect and add value to your brand.

Our menu of choice extends from off the shelf standards through to custom options that can be polished, sprayed, printed, embossed or laser etched, giving you handcrafted closures which radiate quality and ooze shelf appeal.

Today, William Rankin Jr’s passion, determination and knowledge are distilled in each of us. It’s what keeps the business truly dynamic; responding to shifts in trends and lifestyles, and helping us maintain our position as a trusted partner for the renowned brands we work with.

After six generations, we’ve changed a bit, but our core mission remains the same: to provide world-leading bottle closures, made to the highest, most ethical standards. We pride ourselves on the long-term relationships we build with our customers. We’re in it for the long-haul, helping businesses to grow by giving them the necessary materials to make their products shine. ■

English Whisky Guild | Annual Review 2024 englishwhiskyguild.com 40 MEMBER PROFILE

Information Simpsons Malt Limited

Tweed Valley Maltings

Berwick-Upon-Tweed Northumberland TD15 2UZ

simpsonsmalt.co.uk 01289 330033


The Maltings Moulton Road Tivetshall St Margaret Norwich NR15 2AJ

simpsonsmalt.co.uk 01379 674285


Simpsons Malt Limited

Founded in 1862, Simpsons Malt Limited is an independent, fifthgeneration, family-owned business and Certified B Corporation comprising a malting division (Simpsons Malt) and an agricultural merchanting division (McCreath Simpson & Prentice).

Simpsons Malt is one of the largest independent, family-owned malting companies in the world. We have the capacity to produce around 300,000 tonnes of malt per year at our two malting sites. Our passion is a focus on making malts with taste, flavour and consistently high quality with the world’s best brewers

and distillers in mind, helping them to craft the finest beers and whiskies.

McCreath Simpson & Prentice (MSP) is one of the UK’s leading agricultural merchants. Founded in 1980, MSP supplies farmers from the Highlands of Scotland to North Yorkshire with a range of farm inputs, including cereal seed, livestock feed, grass and small seeds, agrochemicals and fertiliser. MSP has a growing team of BASIS and FACTS qualified farm traders who provide an unrivalled quality of service, advice and support to farmers. The division also has an in-house grain trading team, who work alongside both farmers and end user customers in the brewing and distilling industries to procure the company’s required malting tonnage each year. ■

“We have the capacity to produce around 300,000 tonnes of malt per year at our two malting sites.”

41 English Whisky Guild | Annual Review 2024 englishwhiskyguild.com MEMBER PROFILE


The Spirit of Manchester Distillery

10 – 15 Watson Street Manchester M3 4LP

spiritofmanchester.co.uk 0161 519 4380 info@spiritofmanchester. co.uk

One Point Six English Whisky

At The Spirit of Manchester Distillery, we’re no strangers to pushing boundaries. From our humble beginnings in 2016, crafting our iconic Manchester Gin, to venturing into spiced botanical rum with OneEyed Rebel, and pioneering Sphere English Vodka, we’ve always sought to do things differently. In 2022 we announced our venture into creating Manchester’s first single malt English Whisky, a journey far beyond anything we had done before.

Inspired by the Golden Ratio, One Point Six embodies our relentless pursuit of perfection. For us, crafting English Whisky is an opportunity for expression and creativity. We’ve done it our way. First, we imagined the flavours we love, then we created them using a unique combination of distillers malts and brewers malts, and a longer-than-average fermentation process.

The journey of One Point Six begins in our mash tun ‘Pi + mash’ before undergoing a

transformative journey in our custom-made fermenters. From there, it finds its soul in ‘Leo,’ our 750-litre copper pot still, before maturing in a carefully curated selection of casks, each imparting its own distinct character, and evolving the complexity of our liquid with each day.

When we embarked upon this journey, it wasn’t just about crafting an exceptional product; we wanted to highlight the roadmap to creating a new whisky and bring people on this exciting journey with us. With this in mind, we launched the One Point Six Founders’ Club and Cask Programme at the end of 2022. Our members feel truly invested in the process and get to experience the milestones along with us throughout One Point Six’s maturation, which we believe is truly special. Founders’ Club members gain exclusive access to our world, from annual behind-the-scenes tour and tastings, to exclusive discounts and samples of the whisky in its various stages of maturation. It really offers a glimpse into the heart and soul of our craft.

The quality of our One Point Six New Make spirit has already garnered acclaim, earning Gold at The Spirits Business World Whisky Masters 2023, as well as 92 points at the IWSC Spirits Awards. Up against entries from distilleries across the world, we’re so proud to receive this recognition and it’s evident that this is only the beginning of a remarkable journey. It’s a real testament to the dedication of our team and the promise of what’s to come.

For us, the rise of English Whisky presented an opportunity to do things differently, and show people what an innovative space this is. We began with our Founders’ Club, and have more recently launched ‘Barley and Beyond’ our monthly New Make tasting experience, where we invite guests to explore barley selection, mashing, fermentation, wash and spirits runs, as well as learn more about the ageing process. This is a unique experience unlike most traditional whisky tastings, and allows guests to explore our liquid at every stage of production, from grain to glass.

We’re so excited to be a part of the future of English Whisky. Cheers to new beginnings, shared experiences, and a new dawn for English Whisky. ■

English Whisky Guild | Annual Review 2024 englishwhiskyguild.com 42

Spirit of Yorkshire Distillery

Information Spirit of Yorkshire Distillery Hunmanby North Yorkshire YO14 0PH

spiritofyorkshire.com 01723 891758 info@spiritofyorkshire. com

From field to bottle with 100% homegrown barley, Filey Bay Single Malt Whisky isn’t just made in Yorkshire, it’s made of Yorkshire.

A distinctive character

Whether it’s our light and fruity exbourbon matured Filey Bay Flagship. Whether it’s a single cask bottle or a marriage. Whether it’s been ‘finished’ or matured full term in sherry, red wine or other cask types… each Filey Bay whisky has a distinct character and personality. That’s what makes every release so special.

That’s truly field to bottle

Every grain of barley that makes the malt used for Filey Bay whisky comes from our farm on the Yorkshire Wolds where we’ve been farming and growing barley since 1945 and brewing beer since 2003.

In fact, we’re one of very few distilleries around the world who can be sure of 100% homegrown barley in every single malt they make, and one of even fewer distilleries who

farm regeneratively (no- and min-till) with soil health at the forefront. And all the water used for mashing, fermenting and distilling comes straight from the chalk aquifers underneath the farm, giving us total control of the process.

Respecting tradition whilst doing things our own way

Mentored by renowned whisky expert, the late Dr. Jim Swan, our approach is to create world class whisky that doesn’t just replicate scotch. Instead we take the best of tradition and apply new thinking to create something unique. Like using a four-plate copper rectifying column alongside our two pot stills for half of the year, giving us the flexibility of two spirit styles. Like being the first whisky distillery in an area famed for growing malting barley.

All because we love our land

We’re doing this because we love where we’re from. We want the farm, the fields, the beach, the people to prosper far into the future. And we’re only just beginning... ■

43 English Whisky Guild | Annual Review 2024 englishwhiskyguild.com MEMBER PROFILE

Urban Bar

Information urbanbar.com

01763 244473


We are an international glass and barware provider working with international brands and hospitality businesses of all sizes. We help our customers create the perfect drinks service with quality and innovative products.

As our business grew, so did our offerings. Today, we are more than just a provider of exceptional glass and barware; we are a one-stop shop. Our services include bespoke design and product branding, where we serve as a creative partner for worldwide drinks brands, distillers, restaurants, and bars alike.

In the professional glass and barware world, excellence in standards and presentation are everything. At Urban Bar,

“‘make the moment.’

Richard’s passion and vision for offering the very best, laid the foundation for the company that would become a respected partner to the spirits, hospitality, and beverage industries.”

we’ve been pursuing that excellence since 1983. Our journey began with the vision of Richard Andrews, a former buyer for internationally renowned retailers Liberty and Heals. Drawing from his extensive experience and expertise in well-designed and quality glassware and barware, Urban Bar was born. We do not release an item if we are not entirely confident in its design, functionality, quality.

At the heart of Urban Bar is our unwavering passion for quality products to help deliver the best drinks service and create that moment. ‘make the moment.’ Richard’s passion and vision for offering the very best, laid the foundation for the company that would become a respected partner to the spirits, hospitality, and beverage industries. Today, although Richard maintains a helpful hand in our development, the business is run by Richard’s son, Nick Andrews.

We are dedicated to improving environmental and social practices and are proud to have been Carbon Neutral since 2017. Currently we offset 125% of our CO2e Carbon footprint and contribute to projects in the developing world which support a variety of social benefits. Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do, we are continually looking at innovative solutions on how we can reduce our carbon footprint and improve industry best practice.

Our journey may have started in the UK, but our reach is now global. Together with our Dutch company, we ship products internationally. However, despite our global presence, we remain steadfast in our commitment to that personal touch that has always set us apart. Our dedicated account team is here to ensure that your experience with Urban Bar keeps us as your first choice for glass and barware. ■

English Whisky Guild | Annual Review 2024 englishwhiskyguild.com 44 MEMBER PROFILE

Wharf Distillery


Wharf Distillery

2 Brackley Road Towcester Northamptonshire

NN12 6DJ


01327 368866


Unlike most English Whisky distilleries Wharf never set out to craft whisky at all. In 2009, with tonnes of apples waiting to begin their journey into cider, whisky was a long way from our thoughts. 15 years on we are proud to have been one of the founding distilleries in the English Whisky scene, albeit on a very different scale to most, and with a very different story to tell.

Back in 2011, our journey into spirits began with the first distillation of our cider into brandy. Initially working with another small distillery to refine the process, we received our own distilling approval in the autumn of 2013. Wharf-side on the Grand Union Canal in Milton-Keynes production increased in earnest, but our primary focus was still very much cider, processing around 200 tonnes of apples each season.

With a full complement of apple-derived products to our name, there was no pressing need to expand our range further, that was until a whimsical conversation with a local brewer, when the notion of creating English Whisky was mooted. Working closely with the brewer, we developed our inaugural mash-bill and within a few weeks, our new make spirit

started dripping from our Portuguese alembic. Our first cask - a 55L ex-Madeira Octave - reached maturity in October 2018, eventually being released in early 2019.

With two 250L copper pot stills, Wharf is proudly a small batch, family-run distillery, focusing on quality over quantity. When it comes to our whisky, every stage of our process is guided by flavour: we have no deadlines to meet, no investors to please, so if the fermentation takes a little bit longer in the winter, then so be it. Typically, we use quartercasks, sometimes octaves and the occasional hogshead for ageing our spirit. Our two main expressions are Solstice and Equinox, ex-Madeira cask and ex-Port cask respectively. Their names reflect the scarcity of our whisky, with casks only being charged and disgorged on those four rare occasions each year. A few special releases are planned over the next few years.

In addition to our whisky we still produce apple brandy, grain spirit, beer spirits, and rum. And, although we consider ourselves a dark-spirits distillery, we did introduce gin and other light spirits into our portfolio in 2017 at the same time we decided to wind-up cider production.

Having recently relocated to Towcester, set in the heart of the Northamptonshire countryside, the distillery is becoming firmly established as a key destination within the town for locals and visitors alike. In addition to the distillery shop, guided tours are available throughout the year, and the distillery is fast gaining a reputation for hosting many music, food, and drink events. ■

45 English Whisky Guild | Annual Review 2024 englishwhiskyguild.com


White Peak Distillery

Derwent Wire Works

Ambergate Derbyshire DE56 2HE

whitepeakdistillery.co.uk 01773 856918

info@whitepeakdistillery. co.uk

White Peak Distillery

A craft distillery, focused on producing authentic, small batch spirits and providing a great experience to visitors and customers alike...

White Peak Distillery is based in the Peak District region of England and was founded in 2016 by local husband and wife team Max and Claire Vaughan. The Distillery home is in the Derwent Valley Mills UNESCO World Heritage Site, on the river bank at a former Victorian wire works, which lends its name to the Wire Works whisky brand launched in early 2022. The copper pot stills were first fired-up in April 2018, since when we’ve been producing a core spirit of lightly-peated single malt, unique in the English Whisky scene. We have

won multiple awards, not only for our whiskies, but also for our distillery visitor experiences and our much-celebrated packaging.

The Distillery sits on the River Derwent which has been a working river for centuries, feeding the first water-powered cotton mills of the 18th century and now providing sustainable cooling for the Distillery (the river is the cold water source for the still condensers). The former Johnson & Nephew wire works was at the heart of the local community for over 120 years; innovators, exporting all over the world and making products the proper way from quality materials. Wire Works whisky builds on these values and the legacy informs our long-term approach to whisky-making. The entire whisky-making process is carefully controlled on site, from mashing and fermentation through to distillation, maturation and bottling.

White Peak introduced whisky-making to the region, but in the wider drinks space, there is a long local history of brewing great beer. We have captured some of this regional heritage through the use of live brewers yeast and six-day fermentations. The whole whisky-making process is carefully considered from a mindset of creating flavour at each stage, and whilst cask selection is important, the focus is on what happens before maturation; this ethos was embedded early on into the original equipment design. Sustainability is part of a continuum that saw us salvage and re-purpose a derelict building and bring in river cooling from the outset. Day-to-day decisions include using fullyrecycable packaging, local suppliers for many consumables including the likes of glass, cardboard shredding equipment, reducing water usage and steam heat temperatures to minimum levels and offering re-fill options for our customers since 2018.

White Peak is a founding member of the EWG and proud to be part of a diverse, emerging whisky category. ■

“Wire Works whisky builds on these values and the legacy informs our long-term approach to whisky-making.”
English Whisky Guild | Annual Review 2024 englishwhiskyguild.com 46 MEMBER PROFILE


Whittaker’s Distillery

Harewell House Farm




Whittaker’s Distillery

In the serene landscape of Nidderdale, amidst the rolling hills of the Yorkshire Dales, lies a bastion of craftsmanship and traditionWhittaker’s Distillery. This distinguished establishment stands as a testament to the dedication and vision of its founders, Toby and Jane Whittaker, who have embarked on a noble quest to bring forth the first-ever Yorkshire Dales English single malt whisky.

At the heart of Whittaker’s Distillery lies a commitment to quality and locality. Unlike any other distillery in the area, Whittaker’s proudly sources locally grown barley, meticulously malted and milled in Yorkshire by Thomas Fawcett and Sons. This deliberate choice not only ensures the freshest ingredients but also fosters a deep connection with the surrounding community and landscape.

The journey of Whittaker’s whisky begins

at the family home Harewell House Farm, where every step of the production process is carefully orchestrated on-site. From the creation of the whisky mash to the meticulous five-day fermentation period, each stage is imbued with the expertise and passion of our distillery team. The culmination of this painstaking process is achieved through double distillation, a time-honoured technique that ensures the refinement and purity of the spirit. The casks are matured on-site and the first cask was filled in 2019.

Central to Whittaker’s Distillery is our unwavering commitment to purity, exemplified by the use of our own spring water. Did you know the ancient translation of the word Nidderdale is ‘Valley of the Spring Water’? And we’re lucky to have numerous natural springs all over the valley.

The still house comprises of a 1,000 litre mash tun, two 1,000 litre copper pot stills and two 1,000 litre stainless steel fermenters. The heating is through steam jackets. The equipment has been sourced from ABE in Nebraska USA. For our heat source, we use LPG but we also have 64 solar panels and will continue to strive for increased use of renewable energy. Our whole process is deliberately manual so that we can use our human senses to determine the cut points instead of just relying on instruments. We prefer a combination of the human interaction as well as instrumental guidance.

However, Whittaker’s Distillery is more than just a producer of fine spirits; it is a testament to the dedication and passion of our team. Led by Toby and Jane Whittaker, the founders and owners, Toby’s team is bolstered by a cadre of talented individuals. Distillers Derek Dowler and Blake Meyer lend their expertise to every aspect of production, from the still house to the cask warehouse. Complementing Jane’s team is Gemma Barrett, whose meticulous attention to detail ensures the seamless operation managing the stock room to overseeing bottling and labelling, Gemma plays a vital role in bringing Whittaker’s whisky to fruition.

Whittaker’s first release takes place on 1 August 2024 which happens to be Yorkshire Day. Register your interest at whittakerswhisky.com. ■

47 English Whisky Guild | Annual Review 2024 englishwhiskyguild.com

The rest

Highlighting the additional distilleries who help support the English Whisky Guild’s vision... Information


Everything we do is centred around flavour creation and quality. Our production methods have all been developed in-house through trial and error with extensive research and education as the foundation. This results in spirits shaped by their place and the people that make them.

Yarm Distillery is an independent, family run company. The company was established in 2018 and now produces a range of flavoured, sloe and London dry gins. A range of Rums are currently being produced, which we sourced from around the world. On the 28th June 2023 our very first English single malt whisky was ready to be taken out of cask with many more to follow!!

English Whisky Guild | Annual Review 2024 englishwhiskyguild.com 48 Information Retribution
Distilling Company Somerset
Yarm Distillery County Durham yarmdistillery.com


West Midlands Distiller

West Midlands westmidlandsdistillery.co.uk Information Trevethen Distillery

Founded in 2017, producing award winning gin, rum and vodka; from 2021 our goal has included laying down whisky casks to produce a world class single malt whisky with heritage and provenance. Our ‘Whisky One’ project experiments with heritage grains, yeast, brewing/distilling techniques and varied casks.


Founded in 1929 on the necessary ingenuity and seasonxality of traditional, rural cornish recipes, Trevethan Distillery have, using science and innovative techniques, taken that inventiveness to a new level to craft world class spirits.


Ten Hides Distillery is a new, early stage, venture based in Wiltshire, alongside Salisbury Plain. Benefitting from local raw ingredients, including chalk-filtered water from the plain and premium barley, we are setting out to launch a distillery, and a brand, perfectly poised to make a unique and powerful contribution to the world of spirits, both in Wiltshire and beyond.

Information Ten Hides Distillery Wiltshire

The Resilience of the English Whisky Industry

Despite economic headwinds and reduced consumer spending, the English whisky industry has demonstrated remarkable resilience. Rising costs and taxes have not hindered its growth; instead, it continues to contribute significantly to the UK economy.

Quality and Flavour First Agenda:

English whisky producers have embraced a steadfast commitment to quality and flavour. Whether through limited cask releases or innovative grain-focused whisky, the emphasis remains on delivering exceptional taste experiences.

Consumers increasingly seek provenance, quality, diversity, and innovation, and English distilleries have responded by prioritising the art of craftsmanship in whisky-making.

Innovation Agenda:

Innovation is the lifeblood of the

English whisky sector. Distillers are exploring new techniques, ingredients, and ageing processes to create unique expressions.

Limited-edition releases, cask finishes, and experimental flavour profiles have captured the imagination of whisky enthusiasts.

Geographical Indication (GI) Protection:

The pursuit of GI status is a strategic move by English whisky producers. It aims to safeguard the category’s reputation and quality standards.

By adhering to production

guidelines, distilleries protect their regional identity while allowing room for creativity and diversity.

Premium Brands:

English whisky brands position themselves as premium and above. These categories cater to discerning consumers who appreciate craftsmanship and are willing to invest in exceptional spirits.

Whether it’s a small-batch release or signature expressions, English whiskies offer a range of options for global whisky connoisseurs.

In summary, the English whisky industry continues to thrive by balancing tradition with innovation, all while navigating economic challenges and consumer demands. Let’s delve deeper into the numbers that underscore this vibrant sector.

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The Voice of the Industry

There are 24 EWG members and over 55 English Whisky distilleries either crafting whisky or laying down spirit.

Growing Capacity

Championing Single Malt

Most distilleries focus on producing Single Malt Whisky. However, the survey also highlights innovation and diversity, with over a third crafting whisky from other grains, including Rye.

The industry currently has a production capacity of 2.1 million liters of pure alcohol annually. Additionally, it has the potential to increase production capacity fivefold in the medium to long term, as planned production capacity comes online.

High Demand

Sales of English Whisky in 2023 equates to 50,000 9 litre cases per year. (CSI (Commercial Spirits Intelligence) No 13, 2023)

Global Reach

English Whisky is being enjoyed in over 30 markets around the world

Desirable Destinations

There were over 250,000 visitors to English Whisky distilleries in 2023.

International Appeal

40% of all English Whisky is sold outside the UK to a growing international market.

51 English Whisky Guild | Annual Review 2024 englishwhiskyguild.com All statistics are from the EWG Annual Survey 2024, unless otherwise stated. EWG IN NUMBERS

Pushing towards a sustainable future that safeguards our product, people and planet

The love of whisky is part of our culture and society - but also clearly it is connected to the landscape and environment we so often take for granted. Three of the primary constituents of whisky are water, yeast and cereals - derived from our earth.

It is therefore vital that we as the English Whisky Guild (EWG) care for and nurture that environment which sustains our much-loved product.

Our primary focus as the English Whisky Guild regarding the environment is to foster synergy among our membershp and collectively advance the sustainability agenda within the industry.

Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) are not just mere measurement tools but instead touch very many elements of our

organisation and membership and what we do. From the natural ingredients of our product, how they are transported, produced, and packaged, to the way they are delivered and consumed - we have a vital role to play in promoting the importance of sustainability.

Sector strategy

While we may not have fully completed the development of a singular sector strategy or specifically defined targets and goals to date, our approach is rooted in the belief that the

sum of our individual efforts can yield greater impact than the separate parts alone. And we have a defined vision - of becoming more sustainable, improving our efficiency, reducing our impact on the climate and contributing to the net zero agenda.

Key roles

As the Guild, one of our key roles is to serve as a conduit for sharing the diverse stories and successes of our members. By providing a platform that showcases the collective progress of our industry, we inspire our members

GREEN GOALS English Whisky Guild | Annual Review 2024 englishwhiskyguild.com 52

to work towards a sustainable future. Moreover, we facilitate the exchange of knowledge and best practices among members, recognising that shared learning accelerates our collective journey towards sustainability.

In terms of good governancenavigating the evolving policy landscape is another vital aspect of our work. We strive to keep our members informed about regulatory changes and advocate for policies that support our sustainability objectives.

history and our members are individually working towards their own goals with the overall objective of helping sustain and protect the ecosystems.

Leading the way is the team at North Yorkshire’s Cooper King Distillery, who were the first to distil whisky in England harnessing net zero energy. Since distillation began in 2018, Cooper King Distillery has been powered by 100 percent renewable energy and boosted by significant investments

“Many of our members are bringing innovative new ideas to the table on how to best tackle carbon reduction with various sustainability actions and practices in place in the battle to protect our planet.”

It is our aim to chart a sector roadmap that outlines clear objectives and milestones for advancing sustainability within the English Whisky industry. As a signpost and platform for information sharing, we remain committed to supporting our members on their sustainability journey.

Reforestation efforts

We pledge to be vigilant stewards of our planet, minimising our ecological footprint. From water conservation to reforestation efforts, we embrace and also promote practices that underpin the very ethos of ESG. Let’s not forget we love our sector and we embrace the efforts of our members. By helping create the framework and environment to harness our members’ ESG principles we galvanise their efforts.

Many of our members are bringing innovative new ideas to the table on how to best tackle carbon reduction, with various sustainability actions, practices and technologies in place in the battle to protect our planet.

Protect ecosystems

Distilling and farming are deeply intertwined industries with a rich

in efficient practices.

These included the development of a pioneering insulating paint for its 900-litre Tasmanian copper pot to achieve a 21 per cent reduction in energy use along with supplying its single malt in 55 per cent recycled glass bottles.

Also in North Yorkshire is Ellers Farm Distillery, which has positioned itself as one of the industry’s sustainability leaders, becoming a certified B Corp in 2023. B Corp Certification - often referred to as the ‘fairtrade of business’ - is a designation that a business is meeting the highest standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency.

Ellers Farm has invested heavily in carbon reduction projects, supported reforestation schemes and launched a plant a tree club among other initiatives.

Sustainable farming

The Spirit of Yorkshire Distillery, which produces Filey Bay Whisky, firmly believes sustainable farming is vital to its future and is now planting barley and wheat using direct drilling to avoid cultivating fields.

Carbon is kept inside the

undisturbed earth which helps soil structure improve, and earthworms flourish, while reducing tractor miles and ensuring land remains the best it can be.

At Fielden, sustainable growing methods from the 1800s are used to grow its heritage grain at five specially-selected organic and regenerative farms.

This method of growing was developed long before modern farming took over and avoided pesticides, chemical fertilisers and manuring. The result is little to no crop rotation and the crop is undersown with clover, helping attract insects and birds across the farms.

Cut emissions

Wildlife is also important to the team at the Cotswolds Distillery. Thanks to a recent investment, the distillery has been able to forge ahead with sustainability plans, which have included the building of a bio-diverse wetlands ecological treatment system.

We, the English Whisky Guild, remain fully committed to helping ourselves and our members cut emissions.

With sustainability at the forefront of our priorities, we remain fully committed to meeting the UK goals of reaching net zero emissions by 2050, while engendering a culture and community that fully embraces the principles of ESG. ■

53 English Whisky Guild | Annual Review 2024 englishwhiskyguild.com GREEN GOALS

Industry trends

Through the lens of industry experts and visionary distillers, we uncover the evolving landscape of the English Whisky industry…

English Whisky is carving out its own niche, blending tradition with innovation to captivate a global audience. As with any industry, there will always be challenges and triumphs to navigate along the way. The English Whisky Guild has leant on both Members and Associate Members for their expertise as we delve into the heart of the English Whisky scene, exploring the trends and technological advancements that are shaping its future.

Consumer preferences

Understanding consumer preferences is crucial for businesses in any industry, including the whisky sector. It helps to tailor products, marketing strategies, and overall offerings to better meet the needs and desires of the customer. By analysing consumer preferences, we can identify trends, anticipate shifts in demand, and develop products that resonate with customers, ultimately driving sales and creating brand loyalty.

Fielden, previously known as The Oxford Artisan Distillery said: “A recent report by Social Standards shows that English Whisky consumers are currently driven by liquid qualitiessingle malt, cask, barrel - over any specific brands. This points to a clear opportunity for an English Whisky

brand to take ownership of what is currently a largely ‘unbranded’ category.

“More broadly, the same report shows that New World Whisky (NWW) is in steady growth reaching an all-time volume high in December 2023. Consumers are attracted here by the brands’ unique associations with sustainability (production methods and local). Ingredients, provenance and flavour also shine through as central to NWW.

“While NWW tends to attract a predominantly male demographic aged 45 and above, certain brands have notably resonated with younger (21-29) and female consumers and challenging category norms. Female NWW enthusiasts, in particular, often prioritise experiential aspects over specific whisky qualities, frequently relating to distillery visits.

“A benchmark survey conducted in 2022 by Longshot Insights in collaboration with Vypr sheds light on UK consumers’ attitudes towards English Whisky and the driving forces behind craft whisky purchases. Among 250 whisky drinkers surveyed, taste and quality emerged as the foremost consideration (approximately 58%), followed closely by pricing factors such as special offers (37%) and lower prices (31%). Surprisingly, age and country of

origin held less sway than conventionally presumed, reflecting a shifting landscape that embraces new brands and regions within the New World Whisky category. The survey also shows a notable level of awareness of English Whisky, with over 41% having heard of it without trying it. Of those surveyed, over 30% have sampled English Whisky, highlighting a low gap in knowledge among UK whisky drinkers, with only 28% not aware of England’s role in whisky production”.

Market demand

Understanding market demand is essential to make informed decisions about pricing, production levels, marketing strategies, and product development efforts. There are many factors that contribute to market demand which need to be analysed in order to identify opportunities for growth, respond to changing consumer preferences, and effectively allocate resources to maximise profitability and competitiveness in the marketplace.

“The global demand for whisky continues to surge and is anticipated to expand even further, with the fastest-growing sector being New World Whisky. This growth is fueled by innovation, encompassing unique

English Whisky Guild | Annual Review 2024 englishwhiskyguild.com 54 IN THE KNOW

philosophies, manipulation of raw materials and processes, and a departure from strict regulations, allowing whisky makers to push boundaries. The result allows for an array of new and exciting flavours, accompanied by captivating stories of creation, enabling new brands to capture consumers’ imaginations. With ranges available at varying price points, this diversity is accessible to all,” says The Lakes Distillery.

“However, analysing market trends solely by continent can be deceptive, as major market performance data often overlooks the distribution and reach of emerging brands, leading to potential misinterpretations. Factors such as economic conditions, disposable income, and evolving consumer behaviours further influence market attractiveness. The quality of distribution channels, competitive landscape, and the sophistication of both on and off-trade sectors must be considered. Ultimately, the appeal of a market varies depending on the brand proposition and price positioning; there’s no one-size-fits-all approach,” they add.

Technology and innovation

Technology and innovation are crucial drivers of progress in the English Whisky industry, offering opportunities for enhanced efficiency, product differentiation, sustainability, market expansion, consumer engagement, and regulatory compliance. By leveraging advanced distillation techniques, sustainable practices, digital marketing strategies, and data analytics tools, distilleries can optimise production processes, create unique flavour profiles, reach broader audiences, appeal to environmentally conscious consumers, and adapt to regulatory changes effectively. Embracing these trends enables distilleries to stay competitive, meet evolving consumer preferences, and contribute to the continued growth of the English Whisky market.


The team at Catalyst ERP have discussed the benefits technological advances are having on the English Whisky industry: “In a modern world where technology advances at a rapid pace, the world of whisky is also embracing innovation to modernise its traditional practices. From distillation to distribution, technology is revolutionising every aspect of the whisky industry. Primarily, technology is making a significant impact in the production process. Distilleries are looking to explore sensors and data analytics to help monitor and control the distillation process, ensuring quality in every batch of whisky produced. “Furthermore, technology is also transforming the way whisky is marketed and sold. Online platforms and e-commerce websites have made it easier for consumers to discover and purchase a wide variety of whiskies from around the world. In addition to this, innovation in packaging and labelling is helping distilleries stand out in a crowded market. Smart labels and QR codes are being used to provide consumers with detailed information about the whisky they are purchasing, including its origin, production process, and tasting notes – turns out, consumers really do want to know where goods are made. “Overall, technology and innovation are reshaping the world of whisky, making it more accessible, transparent, and engaging for consumers. By embracing these advancements, distilleries are not only modernising their operations but also creating new opportunities to connect with whisky enthusiasts around the globe.


Briggs of Burton have shared their expertise when it comes to technology and innovation: “The English Whisky industry has continuously worked towards finding the correct blend of tradition and innovation. Embracing change for sustainability targets, such as reaching net zero before 2040,

requires careful planning. Technologies like High Temperature Heat Pumps (HTHPs), including Mechanical Vapour Recompression (MVR) and Thermal Vapour Recompression (TVR), significantly enhance energy efficiency and reduce carbon footprint. By utilising renewable energy sources and recycling waste heat, distilleries can cut reliance on fossil fuels, reduce emissions, and lower operating costs. These innovations not only benefit the environment but also maintain the purity and quality of whisky, aligning with the values cherished by enthusiasts worldwide.”


Simpsons Malt Limited is just one of many businesses who have analysed the industry’s landscape to benefit English Whisky distilleries: “Simpsons Malt Limited provides distilling customers with complete traceability throughout the malting barley supply chain, integrating its agricultural merchanting division, McCreath Simpson & Prentice (MSP), into its operations. MSP supplies farmers with various inputs and services, including cereal seed, fertiliser, and agrochemicals, supported by a team of qualified farm traders and an in-house grain trading department.

This integrated approach facilitates the launch of Growers Groups, where select farms grow malting barley for specific distilling customers. These grains are stored separately in the company’s large in-house grain storage infrastructure.

Partnering with OCI and Yara, the company is trialling low-carbon fertilisers in 2024 to further sustainability goals. One beneficiary of this supply chain model is Ad Gefrin Distillery, a member of the English Whisky Guild. Four local farms grow LG Diablo spring barley for Ad Gefrin, with the grains processed and stored within a 25-mile radius of the distillery, ensuring a seamless journey from seed to bottle.” ■

55 English Whisky Guild | Annual Review 2024 englishwhiskyguild.com IN THE KNOW

Distillers diary

From English Whisky Guild bespoke events for members, to key whisky events across the globe, here’s your guide to the year’s most anticipated events…


EWG Board Meetings

Quarterly, various locations

Held four times a year, the EWG Board Meetings are all about bringing our community together. Hosted by both our Associate Members and our Distillers, they’re a chance for us to connect, share ideas, and shape the future of English Whisky together. In addition to the core board meeting, the EWG also organise site tours and speakers on priority topics for members.

English Whisky UK Parliamentary Showcase Annual, Westminster

The English Whisky UK Parliamentary Showcase is a prestigious event hosted by Kevin Hollinrake MP. Highlighting the quality and growth of the sector across Parliamentarians and wider Government.


World Whisky Forum

Every 18 months, various locations

Held every 18 months in diverse locations around the globe, this event is for whisky enthusiasts and industry leaders to discuss opportunities and challenges facing the global whisky community, bringing ideas to life and challenging traditional beliefs.



March, Düsseldorf

ProWein is a renowned international trade fair with exhibitors and attendees from across the globe from established favourites to emerging trends.

Whisky Live

March, London

London event where whisky enthusiasts come together to explore the world of whiskies and includes tastings & masterclasses.

International Whisky Day 27 March

Every year on 27 March, whisky fans from around the world come together to celebrate their favourite distilled alcoholic beverage.

World Whisky Awards March, London

The Annual World Whisky Awards announced by Whisky Magazine, choosing from country category winners.

English Whisky Guild | Annual Review 2024 englishwhiskyguild.com 56 FORWARD PLANNER


St. George’s Day

23 April

On 23 April, many people across England celebrate the country’s patron saint St. George by raising a glass of English Whisky.

EWG Annual General Meeting

April, London

The EWG Annual General Meeting is an important gathering where our community comes together. From discussing exciting new initiatives to reflecting on our achievements.


World Whisky Day

18 May

Founded in 2012, this global celebration lands on the third Saturday of May each year. Time to sit back, relax and enjoy a glass of your favourite whisky.

Tokyo Whisky & Spirits Competition (TWSC)

May, Japan

A prestigious annual global whisky competition hosted in Tokyo.

Anniversary of the English Whisky Guild

May, United Kingdom

The Guild was formally founded on 18th May 2022.


International Whisky & Spirit Competition (IWSC)

June, United Kingdom

The prestigious annual global whisky competition hosted in London.

Vinexpo America

June, New York

Two-day New York event for spirit producers, distributors and wider trade to connect with established brands and emerging trends.

San Francisco World Spirits Competition Awards (WSC)

June, United States

Prestigious annual global whisky competition hosted in San Francisco.


Tales of the Cocktail July, New Orleans A spirits trade conference focusing on cocktails in New Orleans.


National Whisky Sour Day 25 August

National Whisky Sour Day is celebrated on 25 August in honour of this beloved cocktail. If you haven’t already tried it, mark your calendar this year and give it a try.


The Whisky Show

September, London

The London Whisky Show is an event where whisky enthusiasts come together to explore the world of whiskies and includes tastings and masterclasses.

The Tax Free World Association’s Annual Conference

September, South of France

The Tax Free World Association’s annual conference in the South of France. Trade event for global travel retail products and industry leaders.


Bar Convent Berlin

October, Berlin, Germany

Bar Convent which is hosted in Berlin is one of the largest trade fairs for the bar and beverage industry.

EWG Technical Day

October, United Kingdom

The English Whisky Guild’s annual technical day for members (distillers and associates). Sharing knowledge and expertise on future innovations, emerging trends and new legislation.


World Whisky Masters

November, London

Annual World Whisky Master Awards announced by Spirits Business.

57 English Whisky Guild | Annual Review 2024 englishwhiskyguild.com FORWARD PLANNER

global demand for whisky continues to surge and is anticipated to expand even further, with the fastestgrowing sector being New World Whisky.”The Lakes Distillery

A NEW ERA English Whisky Guild | Annual Review 2024 englishwhiskyguild.com 58
59 English Whisky Guild | Annual Review 2024 englishwhiskyguild.com A NEW ERA

enquiries to ceo@englishwhiskyguild.com


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