New London distillery ready to start

Where the whisky stills will be at the London Distillery

Where the whisky stills will be at the London Distillery

Business partner Nick had read an article on the rise of Australian whisky micro distilleries and they started business modelling. But plans had to go on the back burner until Rook’s son, Miller, was born.

After a brief stint doing whisky product development for Master of Malt, including cask selection for prostate cancer charity Movember, on 24 June 2011 The London Distillery Company was created.

Andrew MacLeod Smith is Rook’s right-hand man and distiller. He contacted Rook when he heard about the project and turned down a job at Chase to work there. Rook describes Andrew as mature. At 28, Andrew’s lived in New York, got three degrees and worked in the oil industry. “I feel quite privileged, he’s got an amazing CV.”

Following a stratospheric learning curve, Rook ponders the sagacity of his undertaking. “If I’d know this time last year what I was getting into, I might not have done it, but at the same time it’s been incredible. Don’t do it on your own, find someone you trust, but not your best friend.”

Asked what he drank last night he smiles and says: “A 6 year-old Willett Rye – they make an incredible family reserve.” As to single malt Scotch, Rook describes himself as a “Die-hard Ardbeg fan.”

Rook’s next plans? Well he may be in the distillery on Christmas Day; it’s a nice quiet time to go down there with Nicole and Miller.

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