Cotswolds distillery has been distilling since 2014, and has released a few young whiskies recently, which have really impressed many whisky lovers. I came to hear about how good their whisky was (for a 3 year old whisky) from a few friends who tasted it some time ago, and were impressed. I tried a couple of batches, and indeed this is a very promising distillery.
Founded in 2014 by Daniel Szor, a financier who quite the hectic London lifestyle to live in the countryside, in the beautiful Cotswolds region, the distillery makes both whisky and Gin.
Whisky is distilled from 100% traditionally malted barley (on malting floors), which is done by at Warminster, Britain’s oldest working maltings. Using the same techniques they’ve used for hundreds of yeears. The barley itself is 100% local barley from the Cotswolds region.
fermentation is very long (90 hours) : they run the worts off into one of our 8 steel washbacks, collecting 2,500 liters from one mash. they then add two strains of dried yeast. These were selected not just for their consistent yields but more importantly, for the excellent flavors they produce. This live yeast will turn the sugars in the worts into alcohol.they let fermentation continue for just over 90 hours – this is considerably longer than the average fermentation length in whisky production. In the first two days of the process, the yeast works hard to produce alcohol and the wash will reach a peak of about 8%ABV. After that however, no more alcohol will be made, so most distilleries finish their fermentation there. But if left to continue for a third and fourth day, a secondary stage takes place in which the wash fills with bacteria. The bacteria produce acid, which combines with alcohol to form fruity flavor compounds called esters.
Cotswolds distillery had used the expertise of the late Dr. Jim Swan, who advised quite a few “new world” distilleries including Israel’s own ‘Milk & Honey’, and the fruity clean distillate is largely due to his methods and advice.
The distillery uses one set of stills : a 2,500 Liter Wash still (named Mary) , and a 1,600 Liter Spirit still (named Janis) , to distill the liquid into 75% abv, which is then dilluted with water to 63.5% before filling it into oak casks.
Cotswolds is now officially imported to Israel, and I tasted their latest offering the 03/2008 batch of the 3 yo whisky.
Cotswolds Whisky, 3 yo, Batch 03/2008 , 46% , £46 / 240 ILS
Nose: soft fruit, tinned peaches, stewed apples and pears, honey and marzipan, cereal and icing sugar. Very clean, and lovely for such a young whisky.
Palate: the Palate is quite different. The fruit gives way to a more malt and cereal centered liquid, some chocolate and cocoa, and Peat drops, a bit chalky, with some wood tannins and more marzipan.
Finish: medium, with marzipan, wood spices, bitter wood and dough.
lovely stuff for such a young whisky, I am very impressed by how good it smells and tastes, how clean it is, without any blemish and it does feel quite older. Don’t expect it to be complex as older whiskies, but for daily sipping it’s just lovely. What a great promise! we can only imagine how it would feel with a few more years in the wood. And another word about pricing : with all kinds of crazy prices for young whiskies at 3 years old or so, this one’s well priced, affordable and a good value for the money. Young distilleries can watch and learn. A drinker’s whisky, and not a collector’s one. Well done guys, Well done!
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