Whittaker's Gin (Harrogate Distillery Ltd) is a family business run from our home Harewell House Farm in the heart of Nidderdale in North Yorkshire. We are passionate about Yorkshire and where we live and about our amazing local produce which we are so proud to be part of.

The distillery is an old 1950s pig shed which we have converted into a distillery. Toby and I have done a lot of the work ourselves with help from some amazing local tradespeople (you know who you are!!). It is all fairly basic and agricultural but very functional and this is where all the magic happens.

Our aim was to produce an artisan small batch, handcrafted spirit which reflects the Yorkshire countryside in a bottle which is reflected in our now international award winning Original Gin.  This is predominantly Juniper, Coriander and Angelica Root. Our signature botanicals are Bilberries (formerly known as Whortleberries) bring sharpness, complimenting the Juniper berries keeping the gin character intact. Hawthorne berries, which grow on the beautiful hardy trees and hedgerows throughout the countryside, bring background sweetness. Bog Myrtle grows on the stunning Yorkshire moors and has a spicy aroma and tastes both bitter and balsamic at the same time (rich like vanilla). Some breweries still use Bog Myrtle to produce sweet heather ale and in medieval times, it was used as an alternative to hops.  We also use garden thyme which is picked fresh from our garden on the morning of the distillation which sits in the gin basket just above the still to keep the flavour subtle. Also added is fresh lemon peel.  This gin has recently won Best International Gin and a Double Gold Medal at the American Distilling Institute Awards and also won a silver IWSC back in 2016.

We macerate all our berries for 24 hours prior to distillation. The spirit is distilled using the London Dry Gin process to produce a truly first class gin. After distillation, it is then diluted using our natural Harewell water source to bring the ABV to 42% and left to settle and let the essential oils marry together before being hand bottled, batch numbered and labelled producing a truly authentic handmade gin.

Our first 100 litre Jezebels

Hill Billy Stills

Our stills are all called Jezebel named after our our daughters Jessica and Isabella. Our most recent stills which are 300 litre we had made by Tadweld in Tadcaster so we are currently the only distillery in the UK as far as we know that are using handmade, Yorkshire made stills.

Our original 100 litre stills were imported from Bourbon Country in Kentucky from a well known USA supplier Hill Billy Stills. 

The idea of a distillery all started about 4 years ago when we visited Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh, International Centre for Brewing and Distilling to look at the Brewing and Distilling Course as we were looking to start a micro brewery and it just grew from there. Toby immediately signed up and jumped straight in to starting his Masters Degree in Brewing and Distilling and it was then things took an about turn and we decided that we wanted to start up a Distillery. Toby has a chemistry background at Bristol University and has ended up with a larger than life chemistry set!!
From there, we were introduced by Heriot Watt to the the Scottish Craft Distillers Association where we met some great contacts and characters from people like us wanting to start out, to more accomplished small distillers already out there. We have also made some lifelong friends who like us, have great experience on the tasting side.

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