The Cotswolds Distillery have begun their first full year of whisky sales with a ground-breaking win in the annual Icons of Whisky Awards. The distillery, which only began production in September 2014, has been named ‘Craft Producer of the Year’ in the awards’ ‘Rest of World’ category – beating the likes of esteemed Japanese whisky artisan Chichibu.
The awards, organised by Whisky Magazine, have run since 2007. This year they were organised into six regions, reflecting the exponential rise of new distilleries outside the traditional whisky producing nations. The winners from each region will go on to compete in the global finals in March.
Dan Szor, founder and CEO of the Cotswolds Distillery said “We are so pleased to have won this award, particularly in the “Rest of World” category of which we are so proud to play a part. The World Whisky movement is a very exciting part of the single malt whisky scene, encompassing high quality production from diverse corners of the world like Japan, Taiwan, England, Sweden, Italy, Switzerland, USA etc. These producers share a strong devotion to the highest quality, transparency and originality, and the passion that goes into every bottle is there for all to see. We have been waiting impatiently to show our whisky to the world and receiving this prestigious award less than 6 months after the launch of our first whisky release is a wonderful testament to the hard work of our very dedicated team.”
The distillery also picked up another award in the category, for Visitor Attraction Manager of the Year, which went to Alison Dinnie. Dinnie has looked after the distillery shop and tours programme for the last year and oversaw the distillery’s rise to #1 in TripAdvisor’s ranking of visitor attractions in the Cotswolds, beating more established attractions including Gloucester Cathedral and the Royal Gardens at the Highgrove Estate.
The Cotswolds Distillery will play host later this year to many of world’s most exciting new whisky producers when they gather for the second World Whisky Forum in June. The Forum, moderated by Dave Broom, looks at progress and growth across the whisky industry and follows on from its highly successful first incarnation at Box Distillery in Sweden in 2017.