English whisky is starting a wee revival… nothing on the scale or breadth of the Irish, however there are modest entrants here and there… now numbering around 20+.
Apparently, the 1st in this English whisky revival came in 2007 with “The English” from St. George’s distillery in Norfolk that we tried earlier in the evening.
In a previous evening, one tasting companion and I had the pleasure of sampling a whisky from The Lakes Distillery – which has an Arran and Macallan connect that started in 2014.
For Cotswold, their distillery also began in 2014 with both gin and whisky… to be honest I heard more about their Gin which has been well received. So was delighted when the blind tasting revealed their whisky!
- Nose – Distinctive, floral, brown sugar, custard, tuberoses? Milky Toffee, hazelnut and honey
- Palate – A nice kick, heavy, chewy chili whisky, very dry…. as it settles starts to reveal a delicate fruitiness on the palate too with that millky toffee and creamy custard also there…
- Finish – Dry cloves, cinnamon bark, the kind of finish that prompts you to pucker up! Then again… like the palate… keep sipping and it settles in nicely, even reasonably long
Initially, we found it a tiny bit imbalanced but with the revisit, enjoyed the sweetness and spice… especially the aromas are enchanting and invite you to return to sniff and sniff again. Give it a bit of time and this whisky nicely opens up. As it is quite a ‘light weight’, there is zero need for any water – best had neat!
As we tasted it blind, we again turned to speculate the cask mix. Perhaps ex-bourbon maybe even a first fill? Though we had sweet spices on the finish, didn’t discern much of a sherry cask influence.. perhaps something else? But what do we know?
Turns out it is indeed from first-fill barrels – unspecified on the label. And as Cotswold works with batches, what we had in the 2018 6th batch could differ from what is available today.
What more do we know? I believe we tasted one of their Signature Single Malts. In which case they have this to say:
Our award-winning Cotswolds Signature Single Malt Whisky, the first whisky ever made in the Cotswolds, is crafted using the finest locally grown, traditionally floor-malted Cotswold barley. Matured in highly active STR (Shaved, Toasted and Re-charred) ex-red wine casks and premium first-fill ex-Bourbon casks, this single malt whisky provides an incredible depth of flavour with notes of honey, Seville orange marmalade and dark red fruits.
An interesting introduction – I would certainly keep an eye out for other opportunities to explore further.
At the moment, this expression (but not batch) is available for GBP 39 – which is quite reasonable all things considered.
What else did we try in our Scottish ‘adjacent’ themed evening?
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