Cotswolds

The English Cotswolds distillery was founded in 2014. The name comes from the region in which the distillery is located, also known as 'The Heart of England'. In setting up the distillery, the team was supported by none other than Dr Jim Swan, the 'Einstein of Whisky', as well as Harry Cockburn, the former manager of the Bowmore distillery.

Information about the Distillery
30 Bottles
England
-1.565991 52.025884
Active
1 x 2,500 l
1 x 1,600 l
4 x 2,500 l
1 t
2014
https://www.cotswoldsdistillery.com/
Average tasting notes Tasting notes
i
Nosing
Sweet:
Sweet:
Fruit:
Fruit:
Zitrus:
Zitrus:
Sherry:
Herbs:
Honey:
Herbs:
Spices:
Spices:
Honey:
Sherry:
Peat Smoke:
Vanilla:
Vanilla:
Peat Smoke:
Chocolate:
Chocolate:
Floral:
Floral:
Orange:
Fig:
Orange:
Plum:
Plum:
Fig:
Hay:
Peach:
Hay:
Peach:
Caramel:
Berries:
Caramel:
Berries:
Grapefruit:
Grapefruit:
Heather:
Nuts:
Heather:
Malt:
Date:
Date:
Malt:
Oak:
Oak:
Dried Fruit:
Herb:
Almonds:
Dried Fruit:
Nuts:
Herb:
Almonds:
Blackberry:
Banana:
Alcohol:
Grape:
Blackberry:
Barley:
Barley:
Coffee:
Grape:
Alcohol:
Banana:
Coffee:
Cherry:
Apple:
Red Currant:
Cherry:
Tropical Fruit:
Tropical Fruit:
Apple:
Pear:
Dark Chocolate:
Pear:
Dark Chocolate:
Red Currant:
Tasting
Sweet:
Sweet:
Fruit:
Zitrus:
Zitrus:
Malt:
Malt:
Nuts:
Herbs:
Herbs:
Spices:
Fruit:
Oak:
Oak:
Spices:
Caramel:
Floral:
Caramel:
Floral:
Heather:
Heather:
Oil:
Oil:
Peat Smoke:
Peat Smoke:
Grapefruit:
Orange:
Vanilla:
Grapefruit:
Orange:
Vanilla:
Lemon:
Lemon:
Sherry:
Berries:
Berries:
Lime:
Chocolate:
Sherry:
Plum:
Chocolate:
Lime:
Plum:
Almonds:
Peach:
Almonds:
Peach:
Blackberry:
Barley:
Blackberry:
Hazelnut:
Barley:
Hazelnut:
Wheat:
Wheat:
Honey:
Honey:
Alcohol:
Alcohol:
Red Currant:
Herb:
Herb:
Dark Chocolate:
Red Currant:
Dried Fruit:
Cinnamon:
Dark Chocolate:
Cinnamon:
Dried Fruit:
Mint:
Fig:
Chili:
Black Currant:
Nuts:
Ginger:
Raisin:
Fig:
Chili:
Apple:
Ginger:
Mint:
Black Currant:
Apple:
Raisin:
Finish
Oak:
Oak:
Sweet:
Sweet:
Fruit:
Spices:
Fruit:
Spices:
Honey:
Honey:
Zitrus:
Zitrus:
Berries:
Berries:
Herbs:
Herbs:
Sherry:
Pepper:
Pepper:
Sherry:
Peat Smoke:
Peach:
Heather:
Malt:
Heather:
Peach:
Malt:
Floral:
Peat Smoke:
Nuts:
Floral:
Dried Fruit:
Dried Fruit:
Nuts:
Alcohol:
Alcohol:
Vanilla:
Vanilla:
Orange:
Orange:
Pear:
Oil:
Chili:
Lemon:
Tobacco:
Pear:
Lemon:
Herb:
Raisin:
Raisin:
Oil:
Chili:
Ginger:
Caramel:
Ginger:
Caramel:
Herb:
Tobacco:
Details about the Distillery

The Whisky

The Cotswolds Signature Single Malt is the flagship of the distillery. The standard bottling is matured in so-called 'STR-Casks', shaved, toasted and recharred casks in which Red Wine was previously stored. Earlier, there was a limited bottling from the same cask type under the name 'Founder's Choice'. In addition, there are also bottlings from other special casks, such as 'Peated Cask' or 'Sherry Cask' as well as limited editions from the so-called 'Hearts & Crafts' series. 

The Gin

The base used for the Cotswolds Gin is neutral wheat alcohol, sourced from Haymans with an alcohol content of 96%. The Gin still is a 500 litre copper still for fruit brandy made by the German company Arnold Holstein. It is filled only to three quarters with spirit and a little water, ensuring enough contact between the distillate and the copper. After the basic botanicals, first and foremost juniper, have been added, they soak in the spirit overnight for 15 hours. The next morning, the remaining botanicals are added (pepper, coriander, angelica root, citrus fruits and in Wildflower Gin also cornflowers, lavender and rhubarb root) and everything is distilled together. Unlike in many other Gin distilleries, the so-called batch distillation takes place at Cotswolds: As with Whisky distillation, the foreshots and feints are separated and do not end up in the finished Gin. The heart piece, which has an alcohol content of 83% after distillation, is then allowed to rest for five days so that the different flavours can blend harmoniously. With filtered water, the Gin is diluted to a drinkable 46% and bottled without prior chill-filtering. 

The Production

The small distillery has a correspondingly small production volume of 120,000 litres of Whisky per year. The water comes from the village water supply, but is softened and demineralised before processing. The Whisky is distilled on two pot stills, which are also relatively small. 

The Pot Stills

The Cotswolds wash still is called Mary. The copper still holds 2,500 litres and was made for Cotswolds by the well-known still company Forsyths in Rothes, Scotland. The second distillation takes place in the spirit still Janis, which holds 1,600 litres. Here the sharp foreshots and the feints are separated from the heart, which finally ages to become Whisky. The 'cut points', in other words the switchover from foreshots to heart piece or heart piece to feints, are set comparatively early at Cotswolds. So there are still many fruity esters left over from the beginnings of distillation. The heavier, harder constituents from the feints also do not end up in the Whisky. The compact and wide shape of the stills without reflux bowls and constrictions as well as the descending Lyne arm result in less reflux, which produces a full-bodied spirit. 

The Maltings

The barley for the Cotswolds Whiskies comes exclusively from the English region of the same name. Each bottle is labelled with the farm where the barley was harvested. The small distillery does not have its own malting floor, but gives the harvested barley to Warminster Maltings, the oldest malt house in Great Britain. Here the grain is soaked and dried again without the use of peat fire. 

The Mashing

Back at the distillery, the malt is first milled. From the mill, the grist falls directly into the mash tun, which has capacity for half a tonne of mash. Here the grain is infused three times with hot water to wash the starch out of the grains. This creates the so-called 'wort', which is then further processed during fermentation. 

The Fermenting

The 2,500 litres of wort from the Mash Tun then are transferred into the eight steel washbacks. Two dry yeast strains are added for fermentation, chosen not only for their yield but also for the intense flavour they produce. The yeast strains have over 90 hours to convert the sugar in the wort into alcohol, significantly longer than is usual in Whisky production. After two days, an alcohol content of around 8% has already been generated. After that, no more alcohol is produced, which is why most distilleries stop fermentation at this point. In the following two days, bacteria develop in the wash that produce acid, which in combination eventually become so-called esters. These compounds give the liquid complex and fruity aromas that can still be perceived in the spirit after distillation. 

The Warehouse

After distillation, the new make spirit has an alcohol content of 75%. Due to the long fermentation and the unusual cut points, the spirit is already very mild and flavourful at this stage. Before cask maturation, it is diluted to 63.5% with demineralised water. The Cotswolds warehouse stocks various types of oak casks, including Jim Swan's favourite STR Red Wine casks, Sherry casks, refill casks that previously held peated Whisky, and a selection of other special edition casks, such as Sauternes White Wine casks or French Red Wine casks. 

History

The distillery in the idyllic English Cotswolds was founded in 2014 by Daniel Szor. A native New Yorker, he had already been working in London finance for some time at that point. The motivation behind his founding of the distillery was, on the one hand, the desire to leave this hectic world behind and spend more time with his family in the Cotswolds and, on the other hand, of course, his passion for Whisky. 

Visitor Centre

Cotswolds distillery offers various tours of the production and tastings. For £20 per person, you can book a tour and see the distillery seven days a week. In addition, private tastings of seven Whiskies and Gins are offered daily for £15 per person. There is also a cafe and three Cotswolds shops in the area (at the distillery, Bourton-on-the-Water and Broadway). 

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