We hope that you will join us for one of our whisky or gin tasting events or even on one of our very special week long Guided Islay Distillery Experiences some time soon.
We have built up our experience over many years. In the 1990’s, Leonie and I worked for a large drinks retailing company where we received extensive wine and spirits training. In 2003 we had the opportunity to buy our own wine and whisky retailing business, The Wine Shop in the market town of Leek in Staffordshire.
Independent Bottling and Brand Development
In 2005 we began to bottle our own whiskies. We launched the Queen of the Moorlands single malt whisky and began to bottle single casks under the Rare Cask label. This really put the shop on the map and whisky enthusiasts from all over the world began to visit and buy from us. We began to receive exceptional reviews of our products in the media and our reputation quickly began to grow.
Lagavulin, Caol Ila and Kilchoman Distilleries
In 2012, I was approached by Diageo who asked me if I would be interested in developing and managing their Distillery Visitor Centres at Caol Ila and Lagavulin distilleries on Islay. As Caol Ila was my favourite whisky, I didn’t need to be asked twice!
Leonie moved to Islay to join me in March 2013 and was appointed as Visitor Centre and Marketing Manager for Kilchoman Distillery. In October 2013 I became Billy Stitchell’s successor as Distillery Manager at my favourite distillery, Caol Ila, a dream well and truly come true.
Whisky Festivals, Masterclasses and Events
Working for such iconic distilleries gave us both the opportunity to work at large scale drinks industry events and festivals overseas and we found ourselves travelling extensively, spreading the Islay whisky word around Europe and further afield. This experience coupled with the fact that we both worked very much at the coal face of spirit production sets us apart from our competitors.
We are not mixologists, we are not bartenders, and we are not sales representatives. We are very proud of the fact that we’ve actually distilled and been involved with producing and marketing fantastic world class products and we’ve experienced what it is like to live and to work on the world’s most famous whisky destination, the Isle of Islay.
Our events are fun, informative and above all authentic. They are suitable for all whether new to the worlds of gin and whisky, or seasoned enthusiast. We host events throughout the UK, but we are also available for private bookings and corporate events.
We very much hope to see you at one of our unique events soon!