Meet the Team

Max Vaughan


Max was the guy with a dream that has now become a reality. This is in large part thanks to the collective efforts of everyone on the team. Max is involved with all aspects of the business and in particular enjoys welcoming visitors to the Distillery – every time it’s great to see the positive reactions and revisit what we’ve achieved. Max grew up in Derbyshire and so setting up the Distillery in the Peak District region was part of the plan from day one, and linking our spirits to this remarkable location.

Shaun Smith

Head Distiller

Shaun is in charge of Distillery operations and R&D (and manages to keep some free time to welcome visitors around the Distillery). Shaun was previously one of the original distillers at The Cotswolds Distillery. Shaun joined us in 2016 to work with Max on the Distillery design and engineering, so has been involved from the very beginning. Shaun grew up just across the other side of the Peak District in Macclesfield, so is very much at home here.

Claire Vaughan

Brand Manager, Marketing & PR

Claire is involved with pretty much everything apart from distilling our spirits! Particularly branding and design (from labelling, merchandise and web-site, to the design of our shop and tasting room), as well as working with Max on events, PR and marketing. After 20 years in teaching, Claire retrained in interior design. Having lived and breathed the Distillery with Max from the outset, and being passionate about Derbyshire and the Peak District, it’s become part of family life.

Dave Symes


Dave is a key member of our small distilling team and helps with the day-to-day running of the Distillery and our visitor tours. Dave is a Derbyshire lad and, prior to joining the team, worked locally as a brewer at The Brunswick for a number of years, and so joined us with a good knowledge of mashing and fermentation which is a key area of differentiation for our whisky. Dave joined the team in early 2018 and so was on board with Shaun at the time of commissioning the Distillery.

Marie Deltombe

Apprentice Distiller

Marie has joined us from La Rochelle University on a work placement. She is studying for a diploma in bioengineering and is particularly interested in fermentation. Marie will be working with our distillery team on a yeast project during her stay, as well as getting involved in all aspects of distillery life.

Liz Griffiths

Business Administration

Liz is involved with many aspects of the Distillery behind the scenes, ensuring that processes and tools are designed for smooth business operation. With a background in engineering and project management, Liz is passionate about making the Distillery a great place to work where we’re always looking to improve how we do things.

Alice Durose

Shop & Tours

Alice works part-time in the shop and helps host our guests on tours and in the tasting room. Alice enjoys the varied wildlife down at the Distillery, and is regularly on the look out for our resident beaver, as well as the many birds that visit our bird feeders.

Caine Scott-Mullen

Brand Ambassador & Events

Caine is a friend who’s been on hand from the beginning to provide extra man power at events (he does a very good job of spreading the White Peak word). He’s passionate about what we’re doing, enjoys whisky and spirits in general. A good friend to have!