We originally wrote this article in March 2018, yet Cotswolds Gin and Whisky still both remain near the top of my list.
Cotswolds Distillery began production in September 2014, based in Stourton, near Shipston-on-Stour in the North of the Cotswolds.
Their range includes award winning gin and whisky, alongside many other fantastic small batch spirits.
If you’re keen to get your reading glasses on, check out their in depth look at their distillation process here.
Cotswolds Gin is perfectly balance using 9 carefully selected botanicals. Starting with the gin-tessential juniper berries, coriander seed, angelica root and bay leaves, with floral notes from Cotswold lavender, citrus from fresh lime peel and pink grapefruit zest, and a hint of spice from cardamom and black peppercorn.
Disclaimer: Some of the photos in this article are courtesy of Cotswolds Distillery, all rights remain with them.
The team at Cotswolds Distillery don’t believe in 'chill-filtering' their gin, as they want to keep the best flavour possible. This means the gin isn’t crystal clear, and instead creates a recognisable pearlescent colour once hit with ice or tonic.
The juniper really shines through in this gin, as does the grapefruit. The nose is fresh, but also earthy and sweet. A clean palate with citrus and spice, with a balanced and cool finish.
Perfectly served over ice, with a splash of tonic and an essential slice of pink grapefruit, as well as a bay leaf if available.
Alongside the classic Cotswolds Dry Gin, the distillery also produce a range including a ‘Pimm’s alternative’ called Summer Cup, the autumnal Hedgerow Gin, and Ginger Gin for warming up on a cold day.
Cotswolds Whisky is the first ever to be distilled in the Cotswolds, made with 100% local floor-malted barley, then aged in first-fill ex-Bourbon barrels and reconditioned red wine casks.
It has been incredibly well received, honoured with 95/100 and the ‘liquid gold’ title from Jim Murrays Whisky Bible 2018.
The nose has notes of honey and butterscotch, with peaches, apricots and a hint of marzipan. The palate is strong, with tannin-rich malt, dark sugar and spice, highlighted by a taste of caramelised orange marmalade. The finish is long, with dark red fruits and some hints of treacle. It’s perfect neat, over ice or even in a cocktail like our Cotswold Fashioned.
They have since introduced a range of special edition variations of the Cotswolds Whisky, including a peated cask variation that is perfect for those who prefer an Islay style.
Within the Cotswolds Distillery range there are plenty of other spirits to try outside of the main gin and whisky range, but the one that stands out above all is their Cream Liqueur.
Made using their new make spirit mixed with Irish cream, this is full of vanilla and butterscotch flavours. I am not someone who usually enjoys cream liqueur (especially the very popular brand beginning with B) but this is absolutely incredible and full of caramel flavour.
Perfect chilled and served simply over ice, or as something more extravagant like a Cream Liqueur Affogato for dessert.
Check out their full range directly on their website, or from your local wine merchants.