Now, however, the distillery, located in the village of Hunmanby, near Scarborough, has thrown open its doors to the public, who can witness the creation of Yorkshire's first malt whisky in the visitor centre adjacent to the stillhouse.
Spirit of Yorkshire was the brainchild of arable farmer and established brewer Tom Mellor and his long-standing friend and marketing expert David Thompson.
The Mellor family has been making beer at its Wold Top Farm since 2013, as well as growing barley on some 500 acres of land. Tom Mellor grew passionate about the idea of making the first malt whisky in Yorkshire, and acquired the services of the late distillery consultant Jim Swan to help make the idea become reality.
The Mellors were already adept at making high quality wash for brewing, so it was decided to create a stand-alone stillhouse and visitor centre on a small industrial estate at Hunmanby, and transport wash there from the brewery for distilling purposes.
So it is that Monday and Friday are 'wash days', with 10,000 litres of wash being produced on each occasion, allowing for four distillations per week in the pair of copper pot stills, fabricated by Forsyths of Rothes.
In addition to the pots, the distillery is equipped with a four-plate column still, and at present around 50 per cent of total output is directed through the column to give a high-strength new make, which ought to mature relatively quickly.
Around 80,000 litres of spirit are being produced per annum, and are principally being filled into first-fill ex-Old Forester bourbon casks. Plans for potential releases remain fluid, but it is likely that 'work in progress' bottlings will appear in due course.
According to co-founder David Thompson: "There's something deeply satisfying about creating a whisky instilled with the spirit of the people and the place where we live. From sowing the barley to distilling the new make spirit and finally laying the casks down to mature, it's exciting to think that people will enjoy the fruits of our labours in 10, 20, or even 30 years' time."
Rebus30 from Highland Park
Highland Park single malt Scotch whisky is proud to announce plans to collaborate with British crime author Ian Rankin and The Orion Publishing Group to help mark the 30th anniversary of John Rebus, one of crime fiction's best loved creations.
To help start the celebration in style, a very special edition of Highland Park is being produced - Rebus30, a 10-year-old single malt Scotch whisky, that will be available for Rebus fans to buy exclusively from Highland Park.
Jason R Craig, Highland Park, brand director, says: "We are delighted to have been asked to produce this exclusive bottle to celebrate the 30th anniversary of a great crime icon. This is a very special partnership for the brand as we were involved 10 years ago when Ian celebrated the 20th anniversary of the publication of the first 'Inspector Rebus' novel Knots and Crosses. At that time, Ian was invited to visit the distillery on Orkney where he chose a special single cask. The whisky's flavour profile was chosen according to what Ian felt Rebus would prefer - cask no 3272, was 'dark, complex and with a long finish'.
"To celebrate Rebus30, our brief was to craft a 10-year-old single malt fit for an iconic detective who truly stands apart. The result is a stunning single malt created by Gordon Motion, our master whisky maker and a tribute to those with a strong independent spirit and those who know their own mind."
Sarah Benton, group marketing director at Orion says: "Working with Highland Park on this partnership for Rebus30 and RebusFest has been a total delight. What better way to celebrate Rebus' 30th birthday! We know his fans are going to snap up these exclusive bottles fast. In addition to the Highland Park Rebus30, we will be auctioning a few limited edition Highland Park 30 Years Old single malts also specially created for Rebus30, throughout the year's celebration - watch out for these!"
Rebus and Highland Park fans will be able to buy this commemorative bottling for £30 (70cl) and it will be delivered in time for the launch of RebusFest at the end of June 2017. It will only be available for those who join the brand's Inner Circle tribe. Registration of interest for this bottle will be open from early April. To hear further news on how to register for a bottle, join the Inner Circle tribe at www.highlandparkwhisky.com/Innercircle
In addition, for those who will be in Edinburgh for the RebusFest, Highland Park's senior brand ambassador, Martin Markvardsen, will be hosting two whisky masterclasses on Friday 30 June and Saturday 1 July at the Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - The Caledonian. As well as learning all about why Highland Park stands apart from other single malts, guests will be given a unique opportunity to taste Highland Park Rebus30 along with some of the brand's other special whiskies.
Jack Daniels blends its world-famous Tennessee whiskey with cider
Brown-Forman brand, Jack Daniel's, has expanded its core range with the launch of Jack Daniel's Tennessee Cider. The cider will be available to consumers in the UK ahead of a global launch. The company claims this is reflective of the growing trend for innovation in the UK cider industry. Jack Daniel's Tennessee Cider, an apple cider blended with Jack Daniel's Tennessee whiskey, will be available in the off trade.
Charlotte Ashburner, head of marketing at Brown Forman says: "We're excited to launch Jack Daniel's Tennessee Cider in the UK. There is a great appetite for cider amongst UK consumers, and the launch gives people a new way to enjoy Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey, that has all the bold attitude of Jack, but with the ease and refreshment of a premium cider.
"We are increasingly seeing drink brands outside of the cider category experiment with the traditional boundaries of cider, triggering consumers to think differently about how they drink it. With summer on the way, it's the perfect time to stock up the fridge with this bold new innovation from Jack Daniel's."
Jack Daniel's Cider (5.5% ABV) is available to buy now for £2.29 per bottle.