The launch of a single malt whisky is another first for the Cotswolds
PUBLISHED: 12:01 19 December 2017 | UPDATED: 15:18 20 December 2017
Guy Warner embraces his spirit of adventure and is one of the first to sign up for the Cotswold Distillery’s latest offering
One of the reasons I love the Cotswolds food and drink scene is that it’s full of people who are not afraid to give things a go. Like intrepid explorers, some of our local producers are full of adventure, looking for ways to push the boundaries to be the first to put the Cotswolds on the map. One of these food adventurers is Dan Szor, the man behind Cotswolds Distillery.
Originally from New York, Dan has brought his big apple thinking to the village of Shipston-on-Stour, where he now lives with his family. His ambition was to create a brand new distillery in the heart of the Cotswolds, using the best possible kit (gorgeous copper stills made by the famous Forsyths in Speyside, Scotland), while preserving traditional methods and sourcing the highest quality raw ingredients.
A Cotswolds whisky was at the top of his agenda. Introducing a whisky made south of the border may seem like a bold move, but Dan was not deterred. His reasoning was that the Cotswolds is famous for growing grain but no one is distilling the barley here; we have a strong agricultural heritage in the Cotswolds, with brilliant farmers growing barley that’s ideal for malting, so why not be the first person to do it? It also helps that there’s a famous maltings not too far away (Warminster Maltings, near Bath, Britain’s oldest working maltings).
Dan’s vision is forward-thinking and innovative – not only is a Cotswolds whisky completely unique and unexpected, the distillery itself has done wonders for the local economy. It has attracted 25,000 visitors a year since it opened in 2014 and was recently named the #1 Thing To Do in the Cotswolds on Tripadvisor. Yet it is also has a timeless quality that fits seamlessly into the landscape – the distillery uses traditional methods which have been fastidiously researched, and everything is produced and bottled on site by a small team. It’s the perfect blend of Cotswolds innovation and tradition.
The whisky launched in time for Christmas when a limited number of bottles wilenton release. Cotswolds Distillery has already brought us the multi award-winning Cotswolds Dry Gin and Cotswolds Barrel Aged Gin, and with pre-launch reviews raving about the first single malt whisky ever to be distilled in the Cotswolds, you can be sure that it won’t be long before Dan is adding to his awards tally.
The pre-sale has ended but the whiskey will be available to buy online from January 2.
Cotswolds Single Malt Whisky: pre-launch reviews show this to be a rich and deeply fruity single malt whisky, that manages to be light and smooth with a pleasing depth of flavour.
Cotswolds Dry Gin: a multi award-winning gin created from a blend of nine botanicals, including Cotswolds lavender. Clean and well-balanced with juniper and citrus notes.
Cotswolds Barrel Aged Gin: another award-winner, this gin is an homage to local bard, William Shakespeare. It is a complex blend of pure wheat spirit, distilled malt wines and gin botanicals.