A YORKSHIRE start-up distillery has commenced distillation of its inaugural single malt whisky.

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

The company’s founders gained inspiration for the new spirit while working with award-winning whisky distilleries in Tasmania, saying it will be “robust, flavourful and unlike any other in the country”.

Locally grown 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 a 900 litre Tasmanian copper pot still, the only one of its kind in Europe.

On-site maturation follows, in casks coopered by the country’s only independent master cooper.

The distillery was founded

in 2016 by scientist Abbie Neilson and chartered architect Chris Jaume, who had travelled to Australia in 2013, where they discovered the now world-renowned Tasmanian whisky scene.

Abbie 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.”

Chris said: “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.”

Cooper King also distills gin, the first batch of which was released in May 2018.

They donated a percentage of its gin sales to plant trees in the Yorkshire Dales.

The distillery team is keen to have a positive impact on the environment and the entire distillery is powered by 100 per cent green energy.

To find out more about the company and its founders’ club go to cooperkingdistillery.co.uk

Members of the founders’ club will be among the first to taste the new spirit when it is released.

Cooper King are based at The Old Stable, Stillington Road in Sutton-on-the-Forest not far outside of York.