During his time in office in 2022, Chris Porter visited one British distillery per month, with each kindly donating a rare bottle to be included in the Master’s Case. The resulting case included six bottles from Scotland and six from England, including: East London Liquor Company, The English Whisky Company, The Lakes Distillery, The Cotswolds Distillery, Glenfarclas, Benromach (Gordon & Macphail), Dufftown (William Grant & Sons), Warner’s Gin, Tarquin’s, Kilchoman, Ardbeg and Haymans.
In a letter to accompany the case, Chris Porter comments:
2022 was a year like no other. To be Master of the Worshipful Company of Distillers in 2022 was a huge honour.
A milestone for our Company, 350 years since being granted our Livery by the Alderman of the Corporation of the City of London in 1672.
Our own Honorary Court Assistant, Alderman Vincent Keaveney becoming only the second member of the Worshipful Company of Distillers and the first Irishman, acceding to the Mayoralty.
A year when the nation was emerging from two years of enforced periods of lockdown. It was possible to once again engage with fellow members of the Livery and the wider spirits trade.
As Master I decided that we should mark this by ‘getting out there’ and committed to visiting one distillery each month of my Year.
12 distilleries, 6 in England, 6 in Scotland, not only to celebrate our industry’s robust survival through two years of hardship, but, too, of its people and its products.
A chance also to focus on the purpose of the Worshipful Company of Distiller’s charity, to spread the message, to learn of the incredible impact that our charitable and philanthropic work is having.
I hope the Case and the enclosed booklet of the story of my travels and the tasting notes gives you a sense of the spirit of the people and the places I visited. The fabulous hospitality, the stories behind the bottles, the commitment, pride and passion coming from the people I met at each visit, from East London to Islay, from Cornwall to Moray.
Thank you again to all the distilleries that I visited, who so generously donated bottles, each visit all experiences that I shall never forget.
Thank You for your generosity in bidding for this Case, the story is one I believe really embodies the spirit of industry fellowship that exists in our Livery.
Finally, many thanks to Liveryman Neil Stevenson, Master Craftsman, Royal Warrant holder as Cabinetmaker to Her Late Majesty the Queen and his team at N.E.J.Stevenson. Neil crafted, built and most generously donated the wonderful bespoke Case housing the 12 bottles collected on my trips. I am hugely grateful to him for producing this work of art.
Thank you and with my best wishes
Slainte Mhath !
Master, Worshipful Company of Distillers 2021-2022
The Distillers’ Charity (Registered in England and Wales, charity number 1038763)
Charitable giving lies at the heart of The Worshipful Company of Distillers' purpose. The Distillers’ Charity was established in 1955. Its vision is to make a difference to young people by improving alcohol education, training and vocational opportunities and working with other Livery-related charitable causes, including within the drinks trade.
The online auction for ther Master's Case was held in December 2023. The case reached a hammer price of £750 and all proceeds were donated to the Distiller's Charity.