About Whittaker's Gin
Whittaker's Gin (Whittaker's 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.
AMERICAN DISTILLING INSTITUTE BEST INTERNATIONAL GIN 2018 AND DOUBLE GOLD MEDAL "ORIGINAL"
AMERICAN DISTILLING INSTITUTE 2018 SILVER MEDAL AND BEST IN CATEGORY "NAVY STRENGTH"
IWSC 2018 SILVER OUTSTANDING IN CONTEMPORARY AND G&T CATEGORIES "PINK PARTICULAR"
PINK PARTICULAR WON BEST CONTEMPORARY EUROPEAN GIN 2016 CRAFT DISTILLING EXPO LONDON
2nd Place Best European Gin 2015 Craft Distilling Expo London (Original)
Silver Medal IWSC 2016 (Original)
Top Ten Best New British Gins (Clearly Sloe) - Independent
Fortnum and Mason's Spirit of the Month November 2015
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 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.
NEW DISTILLERY BUILDING
And then in the summer of 2018, we embarked on expanding our capacity and decided to build a new distillery building so we could welcome the public through our doors so they could join us on our journey and new projects the first one being making Whisky. Planning was agreed with the help of Chris and James Robinson local architectual services and with help by a grant from LEADER, our new building started taking shape. Richard Stoney and his team from Whitewood Construction Ltd started erection of the steel framed building in the middle of January 2019. Then came JMW Glasshouses Ltd to start the first fix and internal block work, Snow Bros did all the groundworks, Brian Simpson and his colleague Michael embarked on the electrics and Mark Barratt, a local joiner brought his creative vision and our beautiful new building was finally finished at the end of March 2019. We were so proud to have used only local trades on the project.
That was just the start of the journey. Then came the arrival of all our new equipment which was purchased from the US courtesy of American Beer Equipment. We decided to go back to the US which was where our journey started with our very first stills from Hill Billy Stills. We decided to go down this route after winning Best International Gin with our Original in the American Distilling Institute Awards. We started our research on our trip to Portland to pick up the awards we had won and were introduced to Tanner Littrel from ABE who subsequently came to visit our distillery. Our smallest still which is now our new gin still is named Eve and the larger of the 2 which is our wash still is named Esmerelda and we have yet to name our 3rd which is our spirits still.