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Master distiller honoured at Gin Guild dinner

The Grand Rectifier of The Gin Guild, Christopher Hayman presented Tom Nichol, Tanqueray master distiller, a Lifetime Achievement award at the gin industry’s annual dinner last week. After 42 years of service and dedication to the distilling and gin industries, Tom is now retiring. Tom’s career covered a specialised experience in whisky, vodka and gin distillation, giving him a rare depth of expertise in the industry.

Tom commented: “Everything I have learnt throughout my years in distilling has helped me reach the ultimate pinnacle of becoming master distiller of Tanqueray.  My role has been all the more rewarding because gin is the most complex spirit to distil - and Tanqueray is the most colourful, rich, and vibrant gin to create.

Nicholas Cook, Director General of The Gin Guild commented: “We were delighted to honour Tom Nichol with The Gin Guild’s Lifetime Achievement Award, it really does play testament to the contribution he has made to the gin category over the years.  Tom’s passion, energy and drive will be missed by all of his Diageo colleagues. To have a master distiller who personifies the brand, as Tom does, is a real formula for success. He leaves Tanqueray back in growth - for which he was a key driver - our congratulations to Tom!”

Tom’s award and announcement of retirement wasn’t the only news of last night. The Gin Guild also revealed that the term of office of the Grand Rectifier of The Gin Guild, Christopher Hayman, comes to an end in October. Christopher has been a key driver in the creation and development of the Guild, which has benefitted from his in-depth industry experience. His role will be passed over into the capable hands of Martin Riley, who is well known to the industry due to his years with Chivas Brothers/Pernod Ricard.

2 June 2015 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, editor