The English Whisky Company Logo

The English Distillery is England’s oldest registered whisky distillery. Founded by the Nelstrop family in 2006, the Norfolk distillery is still independent and creates multi-award-winning whisky from honest, local ingredients. The distillery has a unique place in history. 

In 1901 the last recorded whisky distillery in England swapped from whisky to gin production before being destroyed by fire.

This saw the end of whisky making in England until The English Distillery was granted a license to distil whisky by HMRC. In 2006 it became the first registered, operational whisky distillery in England for over 100 years.

The English Whisky Company bottles
The English Whisky Company team

Their Story

Our founder James Nelstrop,  was the younger son of a Lincolnshire farmer. James spent his formative years farming in Lincolnshire before emigrating to Australia, where farms were bigger, and opportunities were plentiful. James returned to England in 1976 and went to work the land in Norfolk, Suffolk and Lincolnshire.

As James neared retirement, a lifetime’s dream to make whisky became a possibility. The dream had grown from a throwaway comment made by James’ father, who said it was a “shame all this barley has to go to Scotland to be turned into whisky.”

The decision to build the distillery was quick and with only one caveat: The distillery would produce only the very finest single malt whiskies, regardless of the time it took to get there. This mantra has become the foundation of everything that we do at The English Distillery.

We’re proud to make whisky the old-fashioned way, using slow processes, traditional equipment and honest, local ingredients. Our location is key to the exceptional quality of our whisky. Pure Breckland water is drawn from the spring underneath the distillery and our barley is sourced locally.

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