Toby's still

What size is it meant to be? he had one which fitted into Rickyard Cottage kitchen, and we have heard nothing about him buying a larger one; he had £5000 to spend, and would not have got far with it.

Then there is his having been given a licence:

"At the time of this post, distillation of spirit inside the territory of the United Kingdom is Illegal without a licence.
Yes you can apply for one, but that only alerts HMRC that you either have, plan, or want to distill.

“Certain quantities of wash must be produced each week, thousands of litres.
A separate still house and secure warehouse is also needed for the license to be granted.
Not to mention the health and safety aspect and the £££’s associated with it…”

makes it seem rather as if he would have got a licence only as Tom’s pigs wheeled round his head in a dizzying display of aerobatic derring-do.


“HMRC can decline an application if the largest still to be used has a capacity of less than 18 hectolitres [i.e. 1800 litres].”

“However, HMRC may consider applications where such stills are to be used for commercial production, providing they are supported by a business plan.”

(In other words if the revenue to them is less than the faff of collecting it. But still sizes have been coming down lately.)


And the secure warehouse? Or is it ok for him just to keep all the bottles (where is he getting the bottles? labels?) under his bed?

The juicy details are at

§4.2 - but it’s really not all that onerous. Basically they realise you can’t make it totally secure, so they want to be certain that theft is mildly tricky rather than an option accessible to the casual passer-by, and noticed when it happens.