Founded in 2014 by whisky lover Daniel Szor, The Cotswolds Distillery is based in Stourton, a beautiful corner of the north Cotswolds where it welcomes 40,000 visitors every year. The company has been creating spirits for just under eight years, but it is already the recipient of over 100 prestigious global awards and exports a taste of the Cotswolds to 36 countries.
A leader in English whisky – a new entrant to the global market – The Cotswolds Distillery uses barley from local farms. The harvested barley heads to Britain’s oldest working maltings in Warminster, where it is floor malted by hand using ancient methods (the wet grain is left on the floor to germinate for several days and turned every few hours) before being returned to the distillery. The result of this, as well as an unusual fermentation process and the double distillation, is the award-winning rich and fruity Cotswolds Signature Single Malt Whisky. It is loved by both connoisseurs and those new to the spirit, thanks to a balance and depth of flavour that belies its young age.
Having recently launched the Cotswolds Reserve Single Malt Whisky, a smooth and elegant expression of the distillery’s character, the whisky portfolio has grown further to include the Cask Collection of four cask strength expressions and the Hearts and Crafts limited releases. The latter is inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement, which, much like the distillery itself, promoted traditional craftsmanship.
Quality and flavour come above all else, and The Cotswolds Dry Gin continues to receive critical acclaim for its smooth taste and unmistakable pearlescent cloud that appears when ice or tonic is added – making it The Cloudy G&T. The cloud is caused by the high concentration of botanical oils in the gin; these include hand-peeled lime and pink grapefruit, which lend it bright citrus notes and a subtle hint of lavender, grown close to the distillery, that nods to its Cotswolds origin.
Provenance is an important part of the brand, and The Cotswolds Distillery wants to make a positive impact on the local environment and community. Last year, it worked with the Glorious Cotswolds Grasslands initiative to reseed the meadow adjoining the distillery with wildflowers. Plus, for every bottle sold from the Wildflower Gin Collection, a donation was made to the initiative. It is also proud to be contributing to the rural economy by providing employment across a variety of functions at the distillery, as well as two other outlets in the Cotswolds.
Last year, The Cotswolds Distillery was awarded a Best Told Story accolade by Visit England, in recognition of the great work the experiences team does in welcoming visitors to the distillery and sharing their passion for creating spirits with love and care through a variety of tours and masterclasses. It was also honoured to be included in a list of the world’s most admired whiskies, collated by industry experts. Crafting authentic Cotswolds spirits is what drives the team, and 2021 has been another impressive year of growth for this flourishing young artisanal business.