What do we mean by Outstanding Natural Spirits?

We’re onto something exciting, and we know it.  We’ve created the first craft distillery in this most beautiful part of Britain, using the best local ingredients to lovingly create world-class spirits, but that’s not enough...

As the home of Outstanding Natural Spirits, for us there is no interest making a marketing promise which our products can’t keep. We are working tirelessly until we can make whisky every bit as good as our neighbours to the north, and a refreshing London dry style gin with a Cotswolds twist worthy of the name of this beautiful region.

We're also looking to let our creativity flow in the form of a few distillery exclusives and limited edition bottlings featuring comtemporary style gins, eaux de vies and even a Cotswolds Calvados, all as unique and delicious as the amazing bounty from which they are crafted.

We are serious about making great spirits, but we’re also doing this for the fun of it and we don’t have an exit strategy – only a deep desire to build our business and our reputation, one bottle at a time.


How We Make Our Whisky

We’re particularly proud of our Cotswolds-farmed organic barley. Grown on a farm less than 20 miles away, in a region famed for it's bounitful barley growth, the provenance of our products really shines through.

We’re also proud of our malting partners, the “Malt Stars” of Warminster. With a rich tradition and heritage, they are the oldest working floor maltings in Great Britain.

Their fascinating history and process has not changed in hundreds of years and being less than an hour away from us the Cotswolds they happily deliver our malt as and when we need it. We are incredibly lucky to have both these partners so close.

Their proximity means that not only are our raw ingredients of the highest quality but using them will result in minimal impact to the environment, something that is a top priority here at the Cotswolds Distillery.


Every day we start with a mash, which combines 500kg of our organic malt with about 2500 litres of pure Cotswolds water pumped straight to our distillery.

We mill the grain to make a grist, which is combined with hot water in our mash tun.

We drain the water, now called wort, twice in a row into one of our fermenters, where we add distiller’s yeast to begin fermentation.

Three days later the resulting “wash” resembles a strong ale of approximately 8% ABV.

 

Now over to our wash still, where the alcohol from our 8% wash is turned into “Low Wines” with a strength of in the early twenties % ABV.  The Low Wines are then distilled in our spirit still, where the strength of the alcohol is boosted to well over 70% ABV.

During this distillation the distiller takes only the best cut - the “heart” – to extract the maximum desirable flavours while leaving aside those which are less desirable.

The resulting colorless liquid is known as “new-make spirit” and is slightly reduced to 63.5% ABV and put into its home for the years to come – one of our premium bourbon or sherry casks.

There it will live, for a minimum of three years and probably much longer, before it becomes Cotswolds Single Malt.  It is the wood which has the greatest influence on the taste and character of the spirit, smoothing the taste, removing impurities and adding the wonderful flavour notes typical of single-malts.


Flavour profile: our whisky will be unpeated with strong notes of barley sugar, honey and vanilla typical of maturation in quality first fill American bourbon casks.   We will also age our whisky in sherry casks which will impart a rich, fruity depth with notes of raisins, figs, toffee, chocolate and Christmas cake. We’re lucky enough to get to define the “terroir” for Cotswolds Single Malt and we feel it should reflect the greatness of this land – with primary notes of grain, fruit and oak.

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How we make our Gin

Not wanting to produce just another gin on the market, we decided to bring on board an expert botanist to help us in our search for unusual Cotswolds botanicals for use in our Cotswolds gin recipes, thus creating craft spirits that are unique and perfectly balanced.

Using the finest wheat spirit, we distil our locally sourced botanicals, along with a few more familiar London dry style botanicals in our bespoke copper Holstein still.

After we add our raw spirit into our still at well over 90%, we either place our specially selected botanical mix into our still for maceration or vapour infusion and then we crank up the steam. Whether we adopt either the maceration or vapour infusion method is determined by the botanicals in question. Each has been tested under both distillation conditions so that we get the best possible flavour in our finished recipes resulting in wonderfully pure spirits and perfectly balanced gins.

As the spirit heats, the botanicals gently infuse with the liquid, vapours pass through the still taking on the flavours and characteristics of our botanicals, thus creating our gins.

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The Cotswolds Distillery Phillip's Field, Whichford Road, Stourton, Shipston-on-Stour, CV36 5HG
T: +44 (0) 1608 238 533 E: info@cotswoldsdistillery.com

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