The team

As our company grows, so too does our team. We are delighted to welcome Ben Howkins, Andrew Rankin and
Solène Tailland, each of whom brings different and complementary skills to The Last Drop.

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Ben met both Tom and James on the IDV New Brand Council over 30 years ago.  Since then his focus has been on niche, international, luxury brands.  He has been a director of Taylor’s Port, and is co-founder of Royal Tokaji.  A twice-published author, he is also a past trustee of the WSET.

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Mike brings with him a wealth of industry experience, joining The Last Drop Distillers from Morrison Bowmore Distillers, where he spent 14 years as CEO, managing its development from a bulk whisky supply and services operation to a leading single malt producer with brands including Auchentoshan, Bowmore, Glen Garioch and McClelland’s. Prior to this, Mike held the role of Director of Financial Planning and Control at BT UK, following a 14-year stint at Guinness PLC (now part of Diageo PLC).  Mike primarily oversees the financial and corporate strategy of our growing business.



After studying modern languages at Exeter, Cecily Chappel decided to pursue a career in Fine Wine. She moved to Asia to open and run the offices of Corney & Barrow in both Hong Kong and Singapore. She returned to London after almost a decade with the British wine merchants to start up commercial operations for luxury Fine Wine Members Club, FICOFI, in Europe, India and the Middle-East. She is a member of the Commanderie du Bontemps. Cecily joined The Last Drop Distillers in 2017 as Commercial Director.


Andrew Rankin is a traditionally trained master blender and operational veteran of the Scotch whisky business, having spent the last 40 years working at Chivas Brothers and Morrison Bowmore Distillers – he was also a Board member of the Scotch Whisky Research Institute from 2001-2014. Andrew has joined The Last Drop as our consultant Master Blender in Scotland, where his responsibilities include managing our existing and extremely valuable inventory of old maturing whiskies whilst seeking out further parcels of fine, old and rare whiskies for future releases.


Solène graduated from Chambéry Savoie Mont Blanc University with a degree in Business and Administration Management. While at Chambéry she undertook internships at two different wineries in the south of France. A wine and spirits lover, she pursued her studies with a further degree in International Trade of Wine and Spirits at the University of Reims and Avize Viticampus. During the first year of her degree at Reims, she undertook an internship at the house of Champagne Moussé Fils. She found The Last Drop through the SWA and joined as Sales & Marketing Assistant in April 2015.