CLASSIC DISTILLING WITH A MODERN TOUCH
When good friends meet over a great bottle of whisky, the conversation flows. Sometimes it’s funny, sometimes it’s profound. Sometimes it evolves into something real. Ours grew into Nine Rivers Distillery.Investors
ABOUT NINE RIVERS
Nine Rivers is a multi-category distillery located in the mountains of Longyan, an area of outstanding natural beauty and just 90 minutes north of Xiamen.
Our site is surrounded by ancient woodlands, a paradise for nature lovers and hikers as well as natural mountain springs that filter water over millennia through the natural igneous and sedimental rock formations. This highly fertile land with pristine water has supported human settlements and agriculture for thousands of years.
We build onto this legacy of purity and combine some modern touches to bring distilling into the 21st century. Crafting vodka, gin, rhum and whiskies to quality standards above and beyond those defined by industry leaders.
- Jeff Olyniec
- Joy Tan
- Jay Robertson
- Stephen Davies
- Hayden Zou
- Daniel Liang
- JAN L.BRONI
- Jonathan Dahan
- Jin Jin Chen
- Liam McShane
- SHAUN MILLARD
- Lee Beaudoin
- Vinay Dayaram
- Mudy M. Ghulam
- Lucas Driggers
- Aimee McBride
- CJ Bowman
- Stephen Alexander
- Dave Kruse
- Sasha Fu
- BEEJAN SOHEILI
- MAARTEN ROOS
- Eric Pallas
- SADHWANI NIKHIL SUNIL
- Xiao Shun Chen
- CHRISTOPHER GREWCOCK
- Mizhen Ma
- Darryl Swanepoel
- Guilin Liu
- Richard Hinchman
- Simon Szewach
- Kundy Kong
- Mango Niu
- Wolf Wang
- Steve Zhang
- Simon Fang
Jeff has more than 20 years experience in China, and has built a number of different companies across many different industries including a successful Shenzhen stock market listing. Jeff currently holds board positions at 10 different companies with 8 of them based in China.
Jeff is a founder, a board member and a significant investor in this Nine Rivers Distillery. You can contact Jeff on LINKEDIN.
Joy has more than 20 years of experience in marketing and communication fortune for 100 brands. She currently runs her own consultant company where her clients are MNCs, which she offers on government, media and brand management.
Prior to this, she was on the senior position in Huawei Technologies. Joy is a member of the Board of Directors and is responsible for executing the branding strategy.
CEO and Founder
Jay has extensive experience working in both the technology industry and the alcohols industry. This cross over led to Jay being the founder of some online wine and liquor retail platforms, one of which was a catalyst for Nine Rivers Distillery.
Jay is our CEO and a member of the Board of Directors. His skills and experience across alcohols, sales and technology are all relevant in leading the Nine Rivers Distillery Team. You can contact Jay on LINKEDIN.
Stephen led the team that brought whisky distilling back to Wales after more than 100 years absence. Stephen continues to lead that team as CEO of The Welsh Whisky Company and has won numerous international awards being won for Penderyn Single Malts
Stephen is a Chairman for Nine Rivers Distillery and his experience with The Welsh Whisky Company has strategic influence on how our Board of Directors will lead this project. Stephen can be contacted on LINKEDIN.
Hayden has extensive experience managing China based operations for a number of International companies. Hayden understands the differences between western business and the unique operating environment of China, and knows how to bring these two different business cultures together in harmony.
Hayden is our Managing Director and has led the delivery of our project from concept through to operational capability. He is also a member of the Board of Directors. Hayden can be contacted on LINKEDIN.
Daniel has more than 20 years experience running a successful manufacturing operation in China. His multicultural background and education, along with his extensive experience in firms from start-ups to international conglomerates, allow him to understand the cultural nuances and navigate the unique business landscape in China.
Jan has been in China for more than 13 Years where he leads a number of companies and concurrently is President of Meyra-Netti Asia and Chairman of the Board of the Danish Chamber of Commerce in South China.
Jan is a true whisky lover across all styles and categories. He’s keen to start working with micro-casks and rapidly ageing whiskies at home to his own tastes. He can be contacted on LINKEDIN.
Jonathan has extensive experience working in the wines and spirits industry. He has been Export Director Asia for a few leading European wine and spirits producers for the past 15 years. Additionally, he is also a founder and managing partner for one of the major wine importers in China. Jonathan is a Senior Advisor…
and a member of the Board of Directors due to his understanding of both the local and the international markets. Jonathan’s insights and experience are crucial in building our national and overseas sales network. Jonathan can be contacted on LINKEDIN.
Jin Jin Chen
Jin Jin is a co-founder and shareholder in an extensive group of companies that import, distribute, wholesale and retail wines, liquors and whiskies. Jin Jin’s experience in the Chinese alcohols market stretches back over a decade, initially starting with a casual interest in European wines.
Jin Jin is led by wine cask finishes when it comes to her preferred styles of whisky. Jin Jin can be contacted on LINKED IN.
Liam is the Sales and Marketing Director for a large OEM tech manufacturer with operations in 3 countries and distribution worldwide. Liam is also an avid whiskey and whisky collector with a long time appreciation for good whiskies and was one of the whisky lovers that helped create the monthly whisky social night that was…
the catalyst for the Nine Rivers Distillery project. Liam is a huge fan of the Irish styles of whiskey and the triple distillation technique. You can contact Liam on LINKEDIN.
Shaun is a restaurant bar owner and hi-tech program manager with a talent for “fire fighting” to get through complex issues and create scaleable solutions. From finished goods to component parts and everything involved. Shaun was one of the whisky lovers that helped create the monthly whisky social night that was the catalyst for… the Nine Rivers Distillery project.
Shaun is a big fan of Bourbon and Irish Whiskeys and is keen for us to include sherry finished whiskies in the Nine Rivers Distillery range. Shaun can be contacted on LINKEDIN.
Lee is a hi-tech hardware engineer with a talent for leveraging his vast network in China for rapid prototyping and manufacturing of products that target the western market. From drones to vapes and everything in-between. Lee was one of the whisky lovers that helped create the monthly whisky social night that was the catalyst for…
the Nine Rivers Distillery project. Lee is a big fan of Islay styles of scotch and is keen for us to include peated whiskies in the Nine Rivers Distillery range as soon as possible. You can contact Lee on LINKEDIN.
Vinay is a third-generation textiles and clothing entrepreneur, producing clothing for international brands through factories across China. Vinay was one of the original team of whisky enthusiasts from the monthly whisky networking events that were the starting point of Nine Rivers Distillery…
was back in 2015. Vinay is a big fan of the more modern styles of whisky from India. Subtropical maturation environments and multiple cask finishes are his personal preference. You can contact Vinay on LINKEDIN
Mudy M. Ghulam
Mudy has been living and working in China for more than a decade and specialises in logistics. He currently leads the sales team at an international logistics and freight forwarding company and is based in Shenyang. A passionate whisky lover, Mudy started whisky themed events in Shenyang and built a monthly professional networking event around
whisky tastings. Mudy has a diverse interest and enjoys sherry cask finishes, American bourbon styles and Japanese blends. Mudy can be contacted on LINKEDIN.
Lucas decided to make China his home back in 2007 and he brought with him his live of bourbon and other American Whiskies. In May 2018, Lucas took his passion for whisky a step further by hosting whisky themed events across Wuhan, even winning awards for his educational and entertaining events.
As a founder of Nine Rivers Distillery, Lucas is determined to be one of the first people in China, to be sharing Nine Rivers Distillery whiskies with China. Lucas can be contacted on LINKEDIN.
Aimee has been in China since 2015 and brought her love of whisky with her, initially to Wuxi in Jiangsu, before settling in Shanghai where she teaches psychology. Aimee has been part of the whisky community that underpins the Nine Rivers Distillery project from literally the day that she first got off the aeroplane.
Aimee is a big fan of lighted peated scotch style whiskies. You can contact Aimee on LINKEDIN.
CJ was an early founder member of our whisky community in China when he was based in Beijing for more than 3 years. While CJ no longer lives in China, whisky and Chinese culture are two things he will always be closely aligned to. CJ is currently based in Vietnam and will be leading one
of our first export markets as we take Nine Rivers Distillery alcohols to our neighbours and close friend of China. Another peated whisky fan. CJ can be contacted on LINKEDIN.
Stephen has been in China since 2015 and brought his love of whiskey (with an “e” as every Irishman would argue) with him. As an airline captain, Stephen has traveled all over the world, exploring almost every style of whiskey (and whisky) on offer and so his mature and refined palate is a big asset
to the project. Stephen is a bourbon fanatic but also very loyal to triple distilled Irish styles with sherry casks. He can be contacted on LINKEDIN.
Dave has more than 16 years of experience working in China or as a bridge between China and North American markets. He’s currently the President of Global Sales for an American led, China-based, hi-tech displays manufacturing company. Dave is a bourbon and rye drinker and will be one of the driving forces behind our own
exploration into high corn and high rye mash bills to craft whiskies. Dave can be contacted on LINKEDIN.
Sasha is quite unique to the team in the sense that she is a crusader for the relevance of blended malt whiskies and how the art of blending is massively overlooked and ignored in recent times, over the growing popularity of the single malt category. Sasha would be keen to see us open more than
one distillery in China and be able to demonstrate how blended whiskies can be a far more appealing product to a vast market such as China. Sasha can be contacted on LINKEDIN.
Maarten is originally from the Netherlands but has been in China since 1999. He founded the Chinese law firm R&P in 2010 and continues to provide legal support and representation to international companies and expatriates in China.
Maarten has been a keen whisky lover for more than 2 decades with a preference towards American bourbons. He can be contacted on LINKEDIN.
Eric has been in China for almost a decade where he has carved out a name and reputation as a skilled and creative mixologist. Having been the creative catalyst behind the launch and success of a number of leading F&B concepts in Shenzhen. Like everyone else involved in this project, Eric is a lover of
whisky, however, he’s also a fan of rum and rhum in all it’s styles and is keen to see how we craft and mature our own rhum agricole with China cultivated sugarcane.
SADHWANI NIKHIL SUNIL
NIK was born and raised in Hong Kong SAR. Despite Hard to pinpoint which whisky are favourite, but being an airline pilot who is very fortunate to travel the world he have been lucky enough to find some relatively unique unknown brands from local stores in places such as Japan, Ireland and Australia.
Preferred Single malts although some bourbons are nice too on occasion. Nine rivers is an excellent starting point into the world of distilling and NIK also hope to expand the knowledge of it with this investment. NIK can be contacted on LINKEDIN.
Xiao Shun Chen
Xiao Shun is amore recent convert to the world of whisky, hailing from Guangdong where the most popular aged spirit has historically been cognac.
Xiao Shun has been captivated by sherry cask matured whiskies and has sword never to touch cognac again.
Chris has been in China since 2009 in education and also has a back ground in sales and merchandising from the U.K. Chris is a Japanese whisky drinker, but likes to sample a dram or two from anywhere new.
He said it was exciting to be an investor in China’s first homegrown whisky distillery. Because it can learn about more types of whisky and broaden his whisky tastes. Christopher can be contacted on LINKEDIN.
One of very few members of our team that isn’t an avid whisky drinker, Mizhen Ma does, however, enjoy craft gin since spending a lot of time in the UK between 2015 and 2016.
Mizhen developed a fondness for floral and fruity gins and is keen for Nine Rivers Distillery to start producing small batch gins for her to enjoy a tipple or two.
Darryl is a multimedia designer specialising in graphic design, packaging design, corporate branding, and marketing media. Based in Shenzhen for over a decade, Darryl and his team have worked on creative projects for both local and international brands – from startups to Fortune 500’s.
Darryl enjoys a good whiskey and coffee, but not necessarily at the same time. He can be reached on LINKEDIN.
Guilin has been working in the alcohols industry for more than a decade and is involved in logistics management and importing foreign alcohols. He has a real passion for new world whiskies and micro distillery releases where he appreciates the hand crafted aspect of these whiskies.
Richard came to China in 2014, initially working as an instructor for the Walt Disney Company on the Guangzhou side; he has worked as a geography teacher in the geography departments of Guangzhou Nanfang International School and Alcanta International College.
Richard dares to experiment with different styles of whisky. He is excited to be part of the distillery as it will give him more exposure to different flavours of whisky and the wonderfully interesting world of whisky. Richard can be contacted on LINKEDIN.
Simon has a long and impressive history in Finance and Investing. He is the Managing Partner of the Legats Group, an Australian based group that invests and works with leading edge companies that showcase innovative technologies and IP. The Legats Group holds investments in 20+ companies across 5 continents.
Simon is our Investment Director and his experience in the world of investment has helped lead our project from an energetic idea into a serious commercial business. Simon can be contacted by on LINKEDIN.
Kundy is originally from Hunan Province but has been based in Guangdong for more than 18 years . Kundy has a plethora of knowledge about fine wines and world class spirits and it’s that interest that brought him in to the Nine Rivers Distillery Project.
Kundy is keen to start experiencing the high end whiskies that he loves – to finally have a label that says Made in China. Kundy can be contacted by EMAIL.
Mango is originally from Shanxi Province, one of the cradles of Chinese civilization – Xi’an, the provincial capital is one of the 4 ancient capital cities of China. Mango appreciates Chinese history but is also deeply involved with the technology sector in China. He owns technology companies in Shenzhen. It was the fact that
Nine Rivers Distillery is a harmony of old traditional approaches to distilling with technology being used to create efficiencies that caught Mango’s attention and his involvement. Mango can be contacted by EMAIL.
Wolf comes from Fenyang in Shanxi province, a town that is famous for the crafting of traditional herbal liquors that are matured with traditional Chinese medicinal herbs. On taste profiles these traditional alcohols are very different to what we will be crafting at Nine Rivers Distillery and Wolf is looking forward to introducing all
of his hometown friends to something that will be completely different to them all. Wolf can be contacts on EMAIL.
Steve is currently the Department Director of China (Shenzhen) International Personnel Training Center where he combines the characteristics of Chinese and foreign cultures and applying them flexibly in his teaching methods.
Steve is also passionate about whisky, with an open mind towards all styles and regions.
Simon is from Jiangxi Province and after graduating in Science and Technology has gone on to work for one of the most exciting technology companies in China where he specializes in Artificial Intelligence. Simon believes in the potential for small batch, artisanally crafted alcohols
having good potential in China hence being an investor in the Nine Rivers Distillery Project. Simon can be contacted by EMAIL.
We combine age-old western traditions with modern advances in technology to minimise energy usage and reduce our carbon footprint.
We harvest energy from the environment using air-source heat pumps. We recycle the heat that we generate using highly optimised heat exchangers. We create cooling from natural airflow and smart architecture. Our waste is recycled as animal feed and fertiliser for farming. We use recycled glass and renewable source for all of our packaging.
We see all of these things as common sense and responsible business
Our water has been trapped beneath 300 meters of volcanic granite for thousands of years. Free from salts and other minerals that impair flavor, our water is pure, crisp, and it brings out the best in our grains.
Nine Rivers is located 800 meters above sea level in a remote mountain village. This area has a unique microclimate similar to the Lowlands of Scotland, which creates better harmony between alcohol and cask.
We recycle all spent grains into animal feed. While free of some starches, these grains are rich in protein and nutrients that would otherwise go to waste.
Quality of ingredients makes or breaks the quality of what you’re drinking. Using proprietary NFC chips, we track everything that goes into each individual bottle – right down to the grain.
In addition to recycling our used grains for animal feed, we repurpose our pot ale and spent lees to create biogas for the local community.
We produce a complete portfolio of premium spirits, including vodka, gin, rhum, liqueurs – and, of course, whisky. At full capacity we will produce 7.5 million LPA.
We believe in the power of technology to enhance traditional craftsmanship. Building on classic copper still design, we use a proprietary system of agitation and collective heat exchange that greatly reduces energy consumption and extends the life of our stills.
Old distillation technology uses far too much energy, which threatens the natural resources that make our products great. We have minimized our environmental impact by reducing energy consumption to mere fractions of the energy-per-bottle consumed at traditional distilleries.
PURE, NATURAL INGREDIENTS
Only three things can be used to make whisky. Grains, water and yeast. But with only three ingredients to craft and shape new make whisky spirit with, the quality of these three things is of absolute importance.
Our grains are carefully selected from the USA. Barley and wheat from Montana. Rye from Nebraska and corn from Kentucky. Our water is extracted from an ancient water source beneath our distillery where it has been protected for thousands of years by a blanket of granite rock more than 300 meters thick. Our yeast strains are closely related to the same strains that were used to create the first whiskies hundreds of years ago – with different yeast types for single malts, single grains and American style whiskies.
MILLING AND MASHING
We mill our own grains on-site and to different consistencies of grist depending on which style of whisky we will be crafting. The objective is to crack open the grains, separate the husks and create some flour.
This grist will then be added to a Mash Tun, where hot water will be added to break down the starches from the grains into sugars, using amylase. The sugars and enzymes are then washed out of the used grist using more hot water and the grains are filtered out. This brown, sugary liquid is called wort.
The wort is pumped into the washbacks where we move onto the next stage of the process.
Fermentation is the magic that happens in the washbacks to convert the sugars from the wort into the first stage of alcohol, which we call wash. The speed of the fermentation influences the flavour of the wash
and the eventual whisky that is distilled. While most whisky wash is fermented for 60 to 75 hours, we draw our fermentation out over 110-120 hours to create a wash with a richer and more complex flavor that carries through into our new make spirits.
The First Distillation
During our first distillation we put the Wash in a still and gradually warm it up, so that the alcohols and other elements can evaporate. We condense them back to a liquid between 22% and 24% ABV.
The yield from our wash still is called low wines. We designed our wash still ourselves to be more energy efficient than a traditional Scotch whisky still. While the shape is known to most whisky enthusiasts, we have integrated an extensive system of heat exchangers into our entire production process and recycled heat is used in all our distillation.
THE SECOND DISTILLATION
During our second distillation, which normally takes about 8 hours, we refine the alcohol to something more palatable by cutting out the finest heart of the distillate – about 14% of the total volume.
The second distillation is not just about increasing the alcohol percentage to something that can be casked, it’s also about separating the delicate heart of the distillate from the foreshots, the heads and the tails.
Only the very finest and best quality spirit will go into a Nine Rivers Distillery Cask.
OAK BARRELLED MATURATION
We’ve taken our learnings from the very best of whisky producers across the world and we recognize that the quality of the casks used to mature our spirit can make or break a whisky.
Every single barrel we use is hand-picked and the quality is assessed with a scientific approach that includes both optical and chemical analysis of the wood on every single stave.
Only perfect casks are selected to mature our spirit and we tailor the individual characteristics of each barrel and its previous use, to determine (with considerable accuracy) to shape the final product.
After our mandatory 3 years in an oak cask, some of our whiskies go on for a further cask finish to add depth and breadth to the final product. Some of the cask finishes that we use include
Port seasoned casks, Sherry seasoned casks and casks that have been used to ferment and age mature red wines, white wines, craft beer, cider, gin and cocktails.
Most distilleries measure their capacity in LPA (litres of pure alcohol production per year) with most legacy distilleries measuring in the millions. While many of the recent startups over the last decade are considerably smaller in capacity, we are working on a balance between scale (to keep costs lower) and small batch sizes (to create interesting variances).
Our mash tuns and fermentors work in batch sizes of 30’000 litres which when fermented and distilled twice, will fill somewhere between 12 and 15 casks with our new make whisky. We think that’s just about right. Enough to create consistent quality in each batch, but small enough to ensure each batch has its own unique characteristics.