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Cooper King Distillery

England’s smallest whisky distillery set to open in Yorkshire

26 July 2017 10:00


A boutique Yorkshire-based gin and whisky distillery, inspired by a rich regional heritage, is seeking local people to join its founding members club in celebration of Yorkshire Day on 1st August 2017.

Cooper King Distillery will commence production of its premium single malt whisky in winter 2017 and open its doors to members of the public soon after production. The whisky will be ready in 2022.

The homemade gin, to be flavoured with local botanicals, will be ready in autumn this year.

Based in Sutton-on-the-Forest in North Yorkshire, with a rich, Yorkshire-heritage; an ancient family connection inspired the distillery to be named Cooper King Distillery. Lieutenant Colonel of the Royal Marine Artillery, Charles Cooper King was born in 1843 with the Cooper King family history dating back to 1030. Charles identified ties to the Pigot family of Yorkshire, whose shield can still be seen today throughout Ripon Cathedral.

Based on the site of a former horse’s stable, the distillery invites local people to experience the opportunity to help shape the future of the distillery, by joining The Founders’ Club.

The initiative calls on whisky and gin enthusiasts to become part of the Cooper King family and help make English distilling history. Members will be rewarded with first-release products, rare bottlings, distillery merchandise and a lifetime membership.

Cooper King Distillery is striving to be a green distillery. Run on 100% green energy, they will also plant a tree for every membership sold to offset carbon emissions.

Made using Yorkshire barley and inspired by Australia’s whisky connoisseur, Bill Lark, Cooper King Distillery will produce a 100-litre cask - 150 bottles - of whisky a month. This contrasts sharply with the vast whisky-manufacturing operations in Scotland, whose 120-plus distilleries average three million litres every year.

The gin will be produced in micro-batches, each bottle being filled, labelled and individually numbered by hand at the distillery. Cooper King Distillery is the first in Yorkshire to combine innovative cold vacuum distillation with traditional hot copper-pot distillation in a process tailored to suit each individual botanical, providing a unique experience with the freshest, fullest flavours.

Commenting on the launch of The Founders Club, co-founder Chris Jaume said:

“England’s whisky industry is still in its infancy, with only fifteen craft distilleries across the UK. The demand is growing, and we have the potential to be recognised world-wide as an exceptional whisky-producing region if we focus on flavour, terroir, and experimentation. More young people are starting to drink whisky and they want something unique and fresh. Cooper King will be at the forefront of the micro-distilling industry.”

To join The Founders Club, visit

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About Cooper King Distillery

Located in the heart of Yorkshire, Cooper King Distillery is a family-owned micro-distillery built on the site of a stable, featuring a shop and spirit tasting area.

Its initial batch of premium single malt whisky, made using Yorkshire barley, is scheduled to go into production in Winter 2017, with a projected release date of 2022.

Founded in 2014, by Dr Abbie Neilson, a former scientist and Chris Jaume, a chartered architect, Cooper King Distillery is England’s smallest whisky distillery.

With a desire to leave the rat race, co-founders Chris and Abbie travelled across the globe, in search of sun, sand and adventure. Whilst visiting Australia the pair became fascinated by Tasmania’s eight operational whisky distilleries and the hand-crafted premium whisky industry, which was just starting to take off in this part of the world.

With a mission to bring their discoveries back to Britain, Chris and Abbie set up a truly independent craft whisky distillery back home in Sutton-on-the-forest in North Yorkshire.

Inspired by Chris’s great-great-grandfather, Charles Cooper King, the name Cooper King has rich historical ties to England and Yorkshire. Born in 1843, Charles, who was Lieutenant Colonel of the Royal Marine Artillery, traced the Cooper King family history back to 1030, where he identified ties to the Pigot family of Yorkshire,

whose shield can still be seen today throughout Ripon Cathedral.

Taught by Bill Lark, the godfather of Tasmanian whisky, and armed with a wealth of knowledge gathered from across Tasmania’s now internationally acclaimed New World whisky distilleries and beyond, Cooper King Distillery will produce authentic premium spirits, using the highest quality ingredients that England has to offer.

The Cooper King Distillery Founders’ Club is offering craft spirit lovers a unique opportunity to become part of the Cooper King family and help make English distilling history. Membership tiers start from £30, which is ideal for a gift, through to more established memberships which include a name engraving on the Founders’ Plaque in the distillery. Memberships also offer first access to rare and collectable whisky in the form of new, special and small-batch releases, individually-numbered single cask releases from their early casks, plus the chance to own Cooper King Distillery’s Inaugural Release bottle #1.

To find out more about Cooper King Distillery, visit

To join The Founders Club, visit

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