Born and bred in Oxford, Tom Nicolson, Founder and CEO of TOAD had previously enjoyed a successful career in music industry. Though coming from a family who have been involved in the wine and spirits industry for many generations, Tom was always curious about the art of distilling. And after becoming captivated with the idea of setting up Oxford’s first craft distillery, he left music in order to pursue his passion. Tom met Californian-born, Master Distiller and professional Barman, Cory Mason in 2013 and the creative pair instantly connected. Cory shares Tom’s passion for the pursuit of the ultimate craft and together they concocted the creative brainchild that is TOAD.
“from grain to glass” is the motto. TOAD spirits are made exclusively out of ancient populations of heritage grain, sourced from four farms in their local area. John Letts who grows this special sustainable grain, spent many years researching, sourcing and farming sustainable agricultural methods and has become a leading pioneer in the resurgence of this ancient production. Not only is the flavour profile superior and truly distinctive but these natural grains require no pesticides or herbicides making them wholly organic. Everything about TOAD is totally unique, including their stills which were specially made with the help of expert engineers, using the recycled parts of a steam engine! All in fitting with their unyielding ideals of British excellence.
In May 2017 they started fermenting and distilling their first batch of heritage grain and in July 2017 they launched both the Oxford Dry Gin and the Oxford Rye Vodka. TOAD are the first British producer in our portfolio and we are so pleased to be working with such a truly unique, artisanal and high quality producer that are so close to home!