Twenty miles north of Edinburgh and equidistant south of St. Andrews, the town of Ladybank is home to an Old Tom Morris-designed golf course. Little else beckons travelers to disembark at this burgh's rusty train station.
The Ladybank Company of Distillers seeks to change all that. The "Distillers" in question include you, or could if you become a Founding Life Member of the world's most elite whisky club. Limited to 1,250 worldwide, Ladybank members will immerse themselves in whisky production, from malting, mashing, fermentation and distilling to the actual filling of casks—you heave your cask to the still, fill it with a pump and then hammer home the bung. Director George Thompson and two chemical engineers will supervise all efforts, but the critical decisions remain with the member: Do you prefer an unpeated varietal or like your spirit to taste like the earth from which it came?During each of the first ten years of distillation (beginning this fall), fifty casks will be set aside for exclusive member consumption (one case each per year). After sufficient maturation—again determined by you—each member will receive his finished product. Members will also enjoy privileged access and pricing to other select whiskies. The distillery will be closed to the public, barring all but members and guests to private tastings, dinners and parties. So cask and you shall receive. Founding Life Memberships cost £1,850 (around $3,000). For more info visit whisky.co.uk.