A BOUTIQUE gin and whisky distillery on the outskirts of York is nearing completion, with three quarters of the build finished and gin distillation set to begin early in the new year.

England’s first self-built whisky and gin distillery, Cooper King Distillery will commence production of its juniper-led gin and open its doors to members of the public early in the new year.

The whisky distillation will then follow in Spring 2018, with a predicted release date of 2023.

The gin, flavoured with select local botanicals, will be produced in micro-batches using ten and five litre stills. Cooper King Distillery is the first distillery in Yorkshire to combine innovative cold vacuum distillation with traditional hot copper-pot distillation.

Established by co-founders Chris Jaume and Abbie Neilson, Cooper King Distillery is based in Sutton-on-the-Forest on the outskirts of York, on the site of a former horse’s stable.

The distillery will invite local people and tourists to experience first-hand how gin and whisky is made, with a production area, cask maturation warehouse, tasting-room and spirit shop open to the public.

A team comprising of family, friends and Founders’ Club members are working together to ensure the build is completed within the next month.

Commenting on the progress of the build, co-founder Chris Jaume said: “We are delighted to have the distillery more than 75 per cent complete, having worked long and hard on the construction it is extremely exciting to be so close to beginning distillation.

“We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone that has helped with the construction, family, friends and founders, we really appreciate them helping to make our dream a reality.”

With more than 250 founding members already signed up to its Founders’ Club, Cooper King Distillery has called for both whisky and gin enthusiasts to help shape the future of the distillery by becoming part of the Cooper King Distillery community.

Founders’ Club member, whisky blogger Barry Bradford said: “As a whisky blogger and enthusiast, I am looking forward to sampling Cooper King Distillery’s new spirits, as part of the Founders’ Club I’ll be amongst the first to get these opportunities and also know that I helped make them happen, surely nothing can taste sweeter than that. By being a Founders’ Club member, I get to make a small investment to help realise someone else’s dream”

Miss Neilson and Mr Jaume moved from Yorkshire to Australia in 2014 but are returning to launch their business.