Meet the people - Nick, our Head Distiller & Production Director

Posted on November 20, 2019

    We thought it was about time we introduce you to our wonderful and hard-working team here at the distillery!

    First up, meet our Head Distiller & Production Director, Nick (who will also answer to Woody Sugars), who's been here since day one. An ex-professional cage fighter and keen distillery Bake Off instigator, let's find out more about the man who keeps a watchful eye over our gin and whisky production...

    HOME TOWN, AGE, ANY INTERESTING HOBBIES?

    41, Born in NJ, USA but raised largely in Surrey, UK. When not at the distillery at the moment I am largely studying, cooking, whisky sampling and watching rugby.

    WHAT DOES YOUR JOB INVOLVE?

    I oversee the various departments that make up Production (Production, Logistics, Bottling, Warehouse and R&D) so there is a lot of plate spinning and it would take quite a while to even scratch the surface on an answer to that question.    

    WHAT DID YOU DO BEFORE JOINING THE DISTILLERY?

    I studied for irrelevant degrees, and as a result entered the hospitality industry for my copious sins. 

    HOW DID YOU COME TO JOIN THE DISTILLERY?

    I met Dan on the IBD Fundamentals of Distilling course and then pestered him for a job. 

    WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE THING ABOUT WORKING AT THE DISTILLERY?

    First thing in the morning when the mash is on with all its chugging, the stills are on full bore with the steam hiss, Creedence Clearwater Revival is on loud, tea in hand, sunrise over the hill, nobody in yet to bother me with incessant questions… I love it.

    ANY EMBARRASSING BITS YET?

    When we used to have to get the grain up above the hopper in a bag and a load spilled onto the floor. My suggestion that I was investigating “floor malting” was not believed.

    IF YOU HAD ANY ADVICE FOR ANYONE LOOKING AT GETTING INTO THE INDUSTRY, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

    Getting into the industry – go for it.  It can be hugely rewarding and oftentimes fun.

    A job like mine – get some general work experience first as it takes a lot of organisational abilities in a start-up, and realise in this industry that formal education will only be one brick in a very large mansion of knowledge that will make you a good distiller. 

    WHERE DO YOU GO FOR ANY GIN OR WHISKY INSPIRATION?

    For inspiration I generally read historical and contemporary books on the industry…that kind of thing.

    WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE COTSWOLDS SPIRIT?

    I haven't got kids but have heard you're not supposed to have favourites...however, if I had to choose it would be a whisky, and yet to be released though will be out in the next 18 months

    WHEN YOU’RE NOT DRINKING COTSWOLDS, OF COURSE, WHAT’S YOUR WHISKY OF CHOICE?

    Bowmore Darkest. I like a bit of a sherry finish, and Bowmore is a great base spirit that takes it well. Also, my mentor in the industry Harry Cockburn was manager there for a number of years. It just all comes together in a great whisky.

    FAVOURITE COTSWOLDS SERVE?

    Straight up whisky in a small tumbler. No water, no ice and for the love of everything holy no garnish, juice, muddling, shaking or tweed waistcoats. 


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