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Yorkshire’s self-built distillery begins whisky production

A Yorkshire-based start-up distillery announced that distillation of its inaugural single malt whisky has begun.

Cooper King Distillery, based in Sutton-on-the-Forest has made the announcement following news that it sold out of its pre-order whisky casks after just 10 days of sales.

The highly anticipated new-make spirit will be robust, flavourful, and unlike any other in the country, thanks to inspiration from the founders’ experiences working with award-winning whisky distilleries in Tasmania.

Locally grown Yorkshire barley will be traditionally floor-malted in England’s oldest working maltings, before being mashed and fermented at the distillery. It will then be distilled in the 900 litre Tasmanian copper pot still, which is the only one of its kind in Europe.

Commenting on this milestone, co-founder Abbie Neilson said:

‘We may be one of the smallest whisky distilleries in England, but what matters to us is not the quantity of whisky produced, but the flavour of that whisky, its provenance, and the story behind the spirit. 

‘Sourcing great barley, working with a superb master cooper, and carrying out mashing, fermentation, distillation and maturation under one roof allows us to truly celebrate terroir.’

The distillery was founded in 2016 by Abbie Neilson, a scientist, and Chris Jaume, a chartered architect. With a desire to leave the rat race in 2013, the couple travelled to Australia where they discovered the now world-renowned Tasmanian whisky scene.

Drawing on inspiration gained during their travels, Abbie and Chris gave up their established careers to set up a truly independent, self-built and sustainable distillery at home in Yorkshire.

The first self-built gin and whisky distillery in England, Cooper King Distillery had a team of friends, family and Founders’ Club members working together on the construction. Following completion, the first batch of gin was released in May 2018.

Chris Jaume, co-founder of Cooper King Distillery commented:

‘Five years ago Abbie and I quit our jobs, flew to Australia, and fell in love with the Tasmanian way of making whisky. Since then we have worked incredibly hard to realise our dream of distilling an English whisky underpinned by craftsmanship, honesty and adventure. We are thrilled that the day has come, and malt spirit is flowing at the distillery.’

Chris and Abbie have a strong focus on creating a positive impact on the environment. A percentage of gin sales are donated to plant trees in the Yorkshire Dales, and the entire distillery is powered by 100% green energy.

A huge congratulations to the team at Cooper King Distillery, we cannot wait to taste the new products!

To find out more about Cooper King Distillery, visit

To join the Founders’ Club, visit

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