Scotch is renowned across the world for its rich heritage and exceptional quality. Many distillers seek to emulate Scotch, but one distillery wants to take all the best parts of traditional whisky distilling and add an innovative approach to create a whisky with its own unique spirit: the Spirit of Yorkshire.

In this week’s blog we’re taking a look at the Spirit of Yorkshire Distillery, a Rural Business Awards Finalist in the North, for the Best Rural Start Up Award.


From Grain to Glass

The Spirit of Yorkshire Distillery, based in Hunmanby, was launched in 2016. It is a collaboration between the farmer and brewer Tom Mellor, from Wold Top Brewery, and his business partner, David Thompson. The pair, who describe themselves as “obsessed with distilling, from grain to glass”, have made a significant investment in the business, in order to follow their dream of creating the first Yorkshire whisky.

Just because they want to make the first Yorkshire whisky, it doesn’t mean that they will sacrifice on quality. Locally and sustainably produced, all the barley and spring water they use for production is grown and sourced on the family farm. They are currently the only distillery operating in the UK to grow all the barley used in production themselves. This means they have full control over all their ingredients and the production processes, ensuring they achieve the best taste possible to their whisky.

Tradition and Innovation

In their quest to create a whisky that doesn’t just replicate Scotch, Tom and David have been mentored by the renowned whisky expert Dr. Jim Swan. He has helped them to combine the best of whisky traditions and to apply new thinking to the distilling process to create something unique.

The Spirit of Yorkshire Distillery boasts some of the most impressive distilling equipment in the country. They have invested in two of the largest Forsyth pot stills operating in the UK outside of Scotland, along with a four-plate copper column, which works in tandem with their spirit still. Since being fired up for the first time in May 2016 the stills have filled over one thousand casks of various types – which help to create the subtle, complex flavours of their spirit.


A Distilling Milestone

The distillery team are naturally excited to have reached the 1000th cask milestone. Director and co-founder, David Thompson said: “We’re really pleased with the way that the spirit is maturing and the support that we’ve had from customers and visitors to the distillery.”

“Several of the 1000 casks have been bought by people looking for a potential investment. We’re delighted that the cask offer has appealed to both whisky fans and families and groups of friends who buy in to our grain to glass uniqueness and who want to be a part of Spirit of Yorkshire as it makes history when its maturing malt matures to become Yorkshire’s first malt whisky next year.


Visit Them Yourself

In addition to distilling whisky, Spirit of Yorkshire is home to the Pot Still Coffee Shop that serves a variety of home cooked food and hosts regular events including monthly Distillery Sessions. Forthcoming events include Distillery Sessions with Carrie Martin on 31st August and a ‘Pot Still Pop Up’ whisky-inspired three course meal from Birds on the Loose on 11th October.

For more information about the Distillery, or to find out how to visit it yourself, head to their website: https://www.spiritofyorkshire.com/

To see the other impressive businesses competing for the Best Rural Start Up Award, take a look at our North Shortlist.

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