Cotswold's Distillery - Local Craft Single Malt Whisky And Gin
The Cotswolds Distillery is a relatively new addition to the UK's whisky scene, having only been established in 2014. However, despite its youth, the distillery has already gained a reputation for producing some of the finest whiskies in the country.
In 2014 founder Dan Szor, a whisky aficionado, and native New Yorker, relocated to the serene Cotswolds countryside with his family after a long career in finance in London. His desire to spend more time in the picturesque Cotswolds and break away from the corporate world prompted him to consider starting his own business. As an avid whisky lover, Dan noticed the fields of golden barley surrounding his new home and had a lightbulb moment: "There's barley everywhere in the Cotswolds, but no one's distilling it. Let's be the first!" Thus, the Cotswolds Distillery was born.
For the whisky the distillery uses 100% locally grown barley, as well as water from the nearby Cotswold hills, to create its unique flavour profile. This is one of the things that sets the Cotswolds Whisky Distillery apart from other distilleries is the use of local ingredients. From the outset, they were determined to create a distillery that used only the finest equipment, traditional techniques, and top-notch raw ingredients. Luckily, they had the privilege of working closely with two industry icons: Harry Cockburn, the former Distillery Manager at Bowmore, and Dr. Jim Swan, who was widely regarded as the "Einstein of whisky" due to his expertise in the science of distillation and maturation. Their guidance was instrumental in shaping the Cotswolds Distillery into the world-class establishment it is today.
The distillerie's journey into spirits started with their Gin. In the early days when their casks were starting their maturation their 500lt copper pot still, “Dolly” got to work. The base spirit is a delightful and punchy wheat-based spirit. The base botanicals are macerated for 15 hours overnight. In the morning, they add the rest of the botanicals to the still and fire up “Dolly”. The hearts, which are at 83% ABV, are then rested for 5 days to allow the various flavours to come together and settle in – nothing is rushed. All we they do is add filtered water to reduce the strength to 46% and the gin is then bottled at the distillery. This is known as ‘single shot distillation’
The distillery itself is located not far from Historic Bath in Shipston-on-Stour and worth a day trip. Winner of the 2020, 2021 and 2022 Tripadvisor Travellers' Choice Award. The recent expansion has separated the production of the gin and the whisky allowing for an in-depth tour of both areas. We expect production of their rum to ramp up soon in early 2023 and can’t wait to get our hands on it here at Independent spirit of Bath.
If you want to get your hands on any of these wonderful bottlings of their locally produced famous dry gin, old tom gin, single malts or spectacular 100% cask matured whisky bottlings we have them all here in Bath at the shop or you can see them online here.