Bristol distillery to sell whisky via blockchain technology

Bristol has its first whisky distillery since World War II and shoppers can use blockchain technology to place pre-sales of its various expressions.

Whisky has not been produced in the city since the Bristol Distilling Co was destroyed in the Blitz.

Circumstance is set to change that by producing “New World styles” of whisky and rum in a warehouse in Whitehall.

Co-founder Danny Walker said: “Bristol has a long, distinguished history of distilling, which was lost during the war. With such a legacy we are delighted to be the first in the city to distil whisky again. We want to meet history with innovation.”

Blockchain technology underpins cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum, which polarise opinion in the financial community.

Some see them as the future and believe they will eventually replace fiat currencies like sterling and the dollar, whereas write them off as Ponzi schemes.

But most people agree that blockchain is among the most exciting technological developments in recent years, and Circumstance claims to be the world’s first distillery to use blockchain technology for pre-sales to its customers.

Whisky aficionados can buy digital tokens with cryptocurrency. The tokens can later be redeemed for any bottle Circumstance releases, regardless of its age or value. The first 1,000 tokens will cost £30 each. The next 1,000 tokens will cost £35 and the last 1,000 tokens will cost £40 each. Token sales will cease prior to Circumstance’s first release.

Co-founder Liam Hirt said: “Unlike other token sales this isn't a crowd-funding exercise. This is offering people a way to get involved early and be a part of something interesting.

It will also give people the opportunity to get to the head of the queue on our future releases. Many of them will be offered to token holders before they go on general sale.

“As the tokens are on a block chain they can also be traded or sold, which is the first of its kind in the drinks world.”

The team has spent two and a half years getting the distillery up and running, under the guidance of head distiller Mark Scott, and it expects to release its first expressions within three months.

Walker said: “Circumstance is really pushing the boundaries of modern craft spirits. We started with a blank canvas, and are exploring many different grains,  yeasts, mixed fermentation and traditional and modern ageing techniques. We are producing grain spirits and cane spirits and everything we do is born from a desire to make tasty liquid.”

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