Self-built Yorkshire distillery fills first whisky casks

Cooper King Distillery, the Yorkshire start-up distillery has filled its first casks from across the globe with malt spirit to produce its inaugural single malt whisky.

The exclusive casks have previously held Australian fortified wine and Spanish sherry, and the news comes as the business also announced a partnership with an American whiskey distillery in Kentucky, enabling the distillery to source unique bourbon casks to add to the character of the maturing spirit.

Chris Jaume, co-founder at Cooper King Distillery said: “Filling these first casks is the culmination of five years of hard work and the start of a wonderful whisky journey. We have already received fantastic feedback on the malt spirit and are confident we’ve chosen the best casks for the first batches of whisky.”

Having mashed, fermented and then distilled the unaged spirit in the only copper pot still outside of Australasia, Cooper King Distillery have worked with the last remaining cooper in the UK, Alastair Simms of neighbouring Ripon, to cooper the small 100-litre casks for the North Yorkshire distillery. The spirit will remain in cask for three to five years, with the founding duo committed to releasing the whisky only when it reaches peak maturity.

The new-make spirit being filled into the casks has already had acclaimed reviews from distillers as far as Australia including Dean Jackson known as “the spirit whisperer” and Katie Groves of world-famous whisky bar and shop Milroy’s of Soho.

Katie Groves commented: “This new-make is delicious and shows promise of a great whisky. We’re incredibly excited about the future of Cooper King Distillery.”

The first cask is being bottled exclusively for the distillery’s Founders’ Club members. The crowdfunded approach was set up allow craft spirit lovers a unique opportunity to become part of the Cooper King family and help make English distilling history.

Anyone who joins the club as a ‘Copper’ member will receive a bottle of the inaugural whisky, and with less than 40 spaces available, the distillery urges whisky fans to join soon.

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 Dry Gin was released in May 2018 and has gone on to win multiple taste and design awards.

Cooper King Distillery is filling its inaugural casks at the same time fellow Yorkshire whisky distillery Spirit of Yorkshire is bottling its own.

Abbie Neilson, co-founder of Cooper King Distillery added: “We’re thrilled to part of the burgeoning Yorkshire whisky scene and will be raising a glass in celebration of Yorkshire stepping onto the world whisky stage.”