English Spirit are a small batch craft distillery which has its main site in Great Yeldham, Essex, as well as bases in Cambridgeshire and Cornwall. English Spirit take a unique approach by distilling a wide variety of spirits and liqueurs entirely from scratch (with no alcohol brought in from elsewhere) both for their own English Spirit brand, and for nearly 30 contract clients.

Dr John Walters, English Spirit’s founder and Master Distiller, has accumulated almost a decade of experience since the company was founded in 2011. It is these years of experience which have fostered a specialist level of understanding how to make spirits to a world-class standard. During this time, English Spirit have distilled over 100 products.

The English Spirit range includes vodkas, gins, rums, brandies, single malts, sambucas, and a wide variety of seasonal liqueurs. They were the first in the UK to distil rum and remain the only UK distillery to distil sambuca, as well as being one of a handful to distil small batch vodka, apple brandy and single malt.

English Spirit have won a prestigious array of international awards for themselves and for their contract clients and see themselves as the UK’s only super-premium contract distilling service.

We’re pleased that our unique approach to distilling spirits of the highest quality is being met with great success. In 2018, we doubled our staff at Great Yeldham, along with over £100,000 of capital investment: and in 2019 we plan to double our production from 1.3 million bottles to over 2.6 million bottles per annum.

James Lawrence
General Manager
English Spirit

English Spirit's Essex Distillery

Situated in the village of Great Yeldham in Essex, Great Yeldham Hall is a historic location which dates back to the 13th century and serves as English Spirit’s main site.

Great Yeldham Hall houses 17 employees including Dr John Walters, all distilling and operations staff and the majority of the management team. This number has nearly doubled since the beginning of 2018.

The Great Yeldham distillery itself is housed in the Black Barn of Great Yeldham Hall which is nearly 200 years old. The distillery comprises chiefly of 20 small copper pot stills measuring 200 litres, of which an average of five are operational per day. There is also an assortment of operational equipment, including machinery which is used to fill, label and seal each bottle.

Tours and tastings have been conducted from the site for some time; however as of 2019 the site has undergone a refurbishment to better accommodate visitors. This includes repurposing part of the old barn for dedicated tasting experiences, as well as a new shop and visitor centre.

In 2018, Great Yeldham Hall produced over 1.3 million bottles, a figure the business expects to double in 2019.

A scientific approach to spirits

As their spirits are made small batch using all 20 of their 200 litre copper stills, this ensures that English Spirit’s drinks possess superior smoothness in comparison with other spirit manufacturers. Using a scientific approach to the art of distilling drinks, English Spirit drinks combine the smoothness of their spirits with maximum flavour extraction using local ingredients where they can.

English Spirit’s Great Yeldham Hall is the first distillery in England to make rum from scratch, using the traditional method of fermenting molasses rather than sugar syrup. It is also the only distillery in the UK to make sambuca.

In addition to their core range of spirits, there are a number of other spirits produced at Great Yeldham including their Lavender Gin Liqueur, which is produced using fresh lavender straight from the garden, as well as rose petal gin, strawberry vodka liqueur, blackcurrant vodka liqueur, and Christmas Spirit Rum Liqueur.

Below is English Spirit’s full range of spirits and liqueurs.


  • Dr J’s Gin
  • Old Salt Rum
  • English Spiced Rum
  • St Piran’s Rum
  • Apple Brandy
  • English Sambuca
  • Cucumber Spirit
  • Single Malt Spirit


  • Limongino Gin
  • Raspberry Gin
  • Rhubarb Gin
  • Plum Gin
  • Old Fashioned English Toffee Vodka
  • Chocolate Chilli Vodka

Future Plans

Going forward, English Spirit has ambitious plans for the future. In 2018, over £100,000 was invested into machinery to assist with meeting demand in production of their products, and further investment will be made in 2019.

The site will continue to grow its capacity for not only production but also visitors and sales, in order to show off the unique nature of its operation. This will include more time allotted to tours, VIP tasting experiences, and corporate events.


For more info, visit https://www.englishspirit.uk/