David (Dave) Thompson, Managing Director and co-founder. Spirit of Yorkshire ltd
Farmers, brewers and distillers. 100% of our whisky is produced from “Field to Bottle”
Working with farmers helping them grow Malting Barley crops for beer and whisky production, followed by 20 plus years owning and operating 2 marketing businesses and for the last 7 years working with my friend making whisky.
Third-generation farmer, Tom Mellor and I have been friends for many years and had the pleasure of watching our families grow up together. In 2012 when Tom approached me with the idea of making Yorkshire’s first single malt whisky, I was blown away by the opportunity and couldn’t wait to get involved. You don’t get many chances to produce something completely unique and Yorkshire Whisky is one of them! In May 2016 we fired up the stills and laid down our first casks of what would become Yorkshire single malt whisky in the summer of 2016. It made absolute sense to use the area around us to name our first single malt whisky. To us, Filey Bay is more than just a brand, it’s home. The ever-changing coast shapes who we are and what we do. From the gannets at Bempton Cliffs to the barley growing in our fields, our entire process is within this stretch of land. Where we respect tradition but do things our own way.
The expertise of the whisky-making process was provided by the world-renowned whisky expert, the late Dr Jim Swan, who was our mentor from the start. We set up with two Forsyth pot stills and a four-plate rectifying column that works in tandem with our spirit still. The use of the column allows us to create two distinct styles of new make spirit creating greater options for flavour in maturation and in the whisky-making process. Combining respect and tradition with a progressive approach to distillation, the result is a pair of complex and distinctive new make spirits that mature beautifully in a range of cask maturation techniques.
Much of the unique character of our whisky comes from our field to bottle approach: all of the barley used in the distilling process is grown on the farm, making it one of the only genuine field to bottle whisky distilleries in the UK. Meanwhile, the chalk aquifers directly underneath the farm provide a consistent water supply that’s ideal for whisky distilling.