Meet Tony “Pancakes”…

Ok, so it’s not really Tony “Pancakes”, but that’s how we know him on the “socials”. Anthony Dillon, will tell you below how he is involved in the industry (apart from asking for music recommendations for mashing time). I decided to publish Tony this week as I was in Birmingham yesterday for *Whisky Birmingham*, so it seemed timely. Anyway, lets meet Mr Pancakes…

So, Mr Pancakes, sorry, this will be the last time I call you that, how are you involved with the whisky industry?
I’m co-founder and distiller at Birmingham’s first grain to glass distillery, Spirit of Birmingham.
Having enjoyed drinking whisky for 20 years, we hatched a mad plan of making our own, in
our home town. After two years of difficulties and applications, we began distilling, in
summer 2021.
Running an English whiskey distillery feels like a bit of a dream at the moment, especially as we wont be able to sell any whiskey till late 2024. However, seeing that spirit trickling from our still makes it all very real. I love to get out there, spread the word and let enthusiasts know what we are doing. The whisky community is a lot of fun and full of characters.
However, most of my day-to-day is making spirit and cleaning the mess up afterwards!

So, what would your first whisky (or whiskey) be?

Buffalo Trace. (Yes a bourbon!) I tried it at the Good Food show when it was kind of new to
the UK. The ambassadors were blind tasting it next to Jack Daniels and Jameson, simply
asking “what was your favourite?”. This was the first time I started to ask questions about
whiskey and what made them different.
The Buffalo Trace was really good, since then and I have always had a bottle on my shelf.

And your second whisky? Why you have chosen it:

Glenfarclas 15yo. This was the bottle that opened my door to scotch. I had been put off by the taste of cheap, readily available, back-bar staples and naively assumed there was something about scotch that I didn’t like. I treated myself to a bottle after trying it in a whisky shop. Finding it agreeable to the sweeter palate I had developed from drinking bourbon and Irish blended whiskey. I remember thinking it was like Christmas in a bottle. Glenfarclas 15 opened my mind to what scotch could offer. I soon realised that I hadn’t even scratched the surface.

Glenfarclas 15 is so good!! So where do you go now you have a taste for scotch?
Benromach Peat Smoke, Cask Strength, 2009 vintage.
Kilkerran sherry cask 8yo 57.1% gets a nod here, for inspiring a search for an alternative. In
a world where great whiskies sell out faster than I can type 16 digits, I found a way to get
over the FOMO by reaching out to the wonderful whisky community, asking for
recommendations based on the style of “that Kilkerran”.
It didn’t take long for for me to end up with a bottle of Benromach CS. Smoke, tick! Sherry,
tick! Cask Strength, tick! Happily, one of the best whiskies I’ve ever purchased (arguably
better than “that Kilkerran”). Probably hard to get now, however, it highlighted the fact that
there are always other options than following the hype train to auction sites.

If you would like to help Tony choose music to mash to, or find out more about Spirit of Birmingham, you can find him at the links below.

Twitter. @MCDrammer Instagram. @m.c.drammer
Twitter. @SpiritofBrum Instagram. @SpiritofBirmingham
Company site:

Published by Claire Vokins

My am involved in whisky and horticulture. I own a small professional garden care company with a focus on working in a sustainable way. Whisky enthusiast. Studying "Politics, Philosophy and Economics" with the Open University. Stoic.

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