Yorkshire distillery gets into the spirit of things with production of the county’s first single malt whisky
As the birthplace of parkin, Betty’s tea rooms and the eponymous pudding, Yorkshire has long been recognized as a true foodie’s delight. The local drinks industry isn’t far behind either, with microbreweries aplenty and even a few gin makers now scattered across the county, But whisky – isn’t that best left to the Scots? Fledgling Yorkshire whisky distillery Spirit of Yorkshire don’t think so – and as they’ve started making the county’s first single malt whisky, they’re certainly getting us into the spirit of things.
Sited in Hunmanby, North Yorkshire, just a stone’s throw from the family farm, Spirit of Yorkshire’s ingredients have impeccable provenance. Like their sister company, Great Taste Award-winning beer maestros Wold Top Brewery, they only use locally and sustainably produced ingredients: the barley and spring water that goes into their spirit (and into Wold Top’s beers) is grown and sourced directly from the farm itself.
Spirit of Yorkshire don’t do things by halves, either: they’re committed to making every drop of their whisky from first principles. The distillation process and still set-up were developed under the
guidance of renowned whisky expert Dr. Jim Swan, and painstakingly designed to get the best from the local ingredients to create a unique and distinctive whisky.
The distillery opened its doors to the public for the first time on Easter Monday, and tours of the site (led by the distillers themselves) are available seven days a week. As well as seeing behind the scenes of a working distillery visitors can enjoy exclusive tasting opportunities, as well as enjoying a proper cup of coffee and tasty dishes made from local produce in the Pot Still Coffee Shop. The curious can also discover ‘whiskies of the world’ in the distillery shop, along with Spirit of Yorkshire merchandise.
“Making a whisky from scratch requires curiosity, commitment and, most of all, time,” says Tom Mellor, co-founder, and distiller. “We’ve invested heavily in all three, taking the best of tradition and following our instincts to produce what promises to be a unique, noteworthy whisky.”
“There’s something deeply satisfying about creating a whisky instilled with the spirit of the people and the place we live,” says David Thompson, co-founder, and distiller. “From sowing the barley to distilling the New Make Spirit and finally laying the casks down to mature, it’s exciting to think that people will enjoy the fruits of our labors in ten, twenty or even thirty years’ time.”