Master Distillers never really retire, they just move into the craft spirits marketplace. Well, never say never, but when you think about it, there really aren’t that many people in the world that are truly experienced Master Distillers. When a Master Distiller announces their retirement, I’m sure there phone starts ringing off the hook.

Tanqueray Gin’s longtime Master Distiller Tom Nichol retired from Diageo’s Tanqueray July 3, 2015 after 42 years in the spirits business. In less than a month, it was already announced that Mr. Nichol is collaborating with craft spirits maker J. Rieger & Company in Kansas City, MO. That’s a pretty big shift from large multi-national conglomerate to start up in the middle of America.

J. Rieger Distillery in Kansas City, Missouri was originally founded in 1887. Like many distilleries of the time, it stopped distilling with the enactment of Prohibition. After a 95 year absence, the brand rose again and is very much alive and these days it’s making news by collaborating with Tom Nichol.

The distillery is working with Nichol to create their first gin. The new dry craft gin is expected to be unique and very different from Tanqueray Dry Gin. It’s expected to be released in the fall of 2015.

We’ll keep you posted with progress as the news becomes available.

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Cover photo courtesy of Tanqueray Facebook page.


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