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The Cotswolds English Whisky Distillery!

Nestled amidst the rolling hills and picturesque landscapes of the Cotswolds, a hidden gem awaits those who seek to explore the artistry and tradition of fine spirits. In this enchanting corner of England, where time seems to slow down and the beauty of nature envelops you at every turn, the Cotswold Distillery stands as a testament to the timeless craft of distillation. Prepare to be transported to a world where every drop of liquid gold tells a story of dedication, passion, and a profound connection to the land. Join us as we delve into the rich history, the meticulous process, and the captivating flavours that define the Cotswold Distillery.


A TALE OF PASSION


A group sat around a fire pit at sunset drinking whisky

The Location

The Cotswolds, nestled in the heart of England, is a region of timeless charm and natural beauty. Renowned for its picturesque rolling hills, idyllic villages with honey-coloured stone cottages, and lush green landscapes, the Cotswolds captivates visitors with its quintessential English countryside. This Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of modern life, where you can explore winding country lanes, ancient woodlands, and meandering rivers. The Cotswolds is also rich in history, boasting historic market towns, stunning manor houses, and a wealth of cultural heritage. This is what captivated Dan Szor in his quest to escape city life and settle in the countryside.


The Founder

Dan, a native New Yorker who had spent many years working in finance in London, relocated to the serene Cotswolds region, eager to bid farewell to the corporate world and immerse himself in the tranquil countryside of the Cotswolds alongside his family.

As an ardent whisky enthusiast, Dan gazed upon the fields of golden barley surrounding his Cotswolds residence and had a brilliant idea: "I suddenly thought, there's barley all over the Cotswolds, and no one's distilling it. Let's be the first!"

Combining his love of whisky and his entrepreneurial aspirations, along with determination in his heart, Dan discovered a neglected site near his home and embarked on the ambitious endeavour of constructing a distillery, assembling a dedicated team to manage it. In July 2014, the Cotswolds Distillery flung open its doors, marking the commencement of its remarkable journey...


A close up of someone's hands, holding barley in a field

Production Process

Cotswolds whisky is known for its meticulous craftsmanship and attention to detail. The production process is a labour of love, reflecting the dedication of the distillery's team as well as the influence from several whisky legends including Harry Cockburn and Dr. Jim Swan.The key aspects of the production process are detailed below:

  1. Quality Ingredients: Cotswolds whisky starts with the finest locally sourced ingredients, including 100% Cotswold-grown barley. The use of high-quality, locally grown grains is a testament to the distillery's commitment to the region and its terroir.

  2. Malting, Milling and Mashing: The barley is malted using traditional methods at Warminster Maltings before being kiln dried and sent back to the distillery, where it is milled each morning. The grist is then mixed with water in 3-stages in a 0.5 tonne mash tun, to create the worts. This wort is then fermented with two strains of yeast, renowned for a consistent and flavourful yield, for over 90-hours, a masterstroke that was created by the the late Dr. Jim Swan.

  3. Distillation: Cotswolds whisky is double distilled in traditional copper pot stills. The distillation process is a careful balance of art and science, using an unusually early cut point to ensure they capture all the fruitier flavours and avoid any heavier and rougher compounds getting in to their spirit.

  4. Maturation:The new make spirit comes off the still at 73% ABV, which is reduced to 63.5% ABV using demineralised water, before using a range of oak casks to mature the spirit.

  5. Bottling: After ageing for several years, the whisky is carefully selected, blended, and bottled at the distillery. The bottling process is also done on-site to maintain quality control.

Photo of Copper pot still at the Distillery

The Whisky

The Signature Single Malt captures the distilleries house style, an award-winning single malt whisky that is lovingly crafted in small batches. The two yeast varieties and a 90-hour fermentation time creates plenty of fruity flavours, and double distillation and an early, but narrow, cut point further contributes to the fruitiness of the new make spirit. Aged in 1st Fill ex-bourbon barrels and STR ex-red wine casks creates amazing depth and flavours of honey, marmalade and dark red fruits.

Someone holding a bottle of Signature with a tasting glass

Conclusion

Cotswolds whisky is a shining example of the expanding world of whisky production outside of Scotland. Its dedication to quality, respect for tradition, and willingness to innovate have made it a beloved choice among whisky enthusiasts. Whether you're a seasoned whisky connoisseur or a newcomer to the world of spirits, Cotswolds whisky offers a taste of England's craftsmanship and a sip of the Cotswolds' unique terroir. So, the next time you explore this picturesque region, don't forget to raise a glass of Cotswolds whisky and savour the flavours of a place where tradition meets innovation.


The Journey Our members are enjoying 100ml of the award-winning Cotswolds Signature Single Malt, allowing them to explore this wonderful whisky and find the way they want to drink it...

Neat - 30ml in a glass... look at it, smell it, drink it, enjoy it!

Long - Try a CoSekO, 30ml of whisky over ice and as much Sekforde Orange as you like.

Cocktail - An Old Fashioned is one of our favourites and is simple and delicious; 60ml of

whisky, 10ml Maple Syrup, dashes of aromatic bitters, all stirred down over ice... Awesome!

Join us now on The Journey for your chance to enjoy 100ml of these wonderful whiskies from under £17.50 per month, or head to The Shop if you would prefer to buy a single 100ml or full-size bottle.


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