And from one Local Barley release to another Local Barley release but from a different region and heritage – Cotswolds first single malt. Cotswolds uses barley grown in the area, so the Local Barley moniker can be used here freely.
The Cotswolds region is a lovely one. I passed the area on my way from Birmingham to Stratford-Upon-Avon (Shakespeare’s birthplace), which in case you don’t know, means it’s English whisky and not Scottish whisky. But the region never had a whisky distillery, until the Cotswolds Distillery opened in 2014 that is.
Three years passed by with a few young single malts test batches releases along the way and eventually, a first proper single malt release. So let’s check out 2 young single malts and the proper single malt whisky from this English whisky distillery.
Test Batch Series, 5 Months Old, Ex-Sherry, 62.4%
Nose: Subtle malt, sweet red fruit, white pepper, hot spices and after while some herbs freshness.
Palate: Sweet semi dried red fruit, tons of herbal freshness, menthol, eucalyptus, sweet malt, red apples, spicy. With a few drops of water it’s gentler without much menthol & eucalyptus but also very bland.
Finish: Medium length, lingering freshness, menthol, sweet vanillin and red raspberries.
Test Batch Series, 10 Months Old, Ex-Sherry, 62.4%
Nose: A bit more mature, menthol but less so than the 5mo, subtle red wine, malt and baked apples.
Palate: Menthol, red wine, baked apples, subtle tannins, malt, clean, hot spices, green cardamom, dry nuttiness.
Finish: short, hot, maltiness, lingering sweet red wine.
After trying those young spirits, let’s checkout what another 2+ years did to the spirit:
Cotswolds Single Malt Whisky (46%, £44.95)
Nose: Malty, subtle red fruit from the wine casks, orange peels, with time there’s stronger red wine, strawberries and demerara sugar.
Palate: Malt, very sweet red wine, tannins, spicy with oak spices, green spices, quite hot for the ABV.
Finish: Short medium length, lingering sweet red fruit and subtle maltiness.
Thoughts: So far so good. Even with only three years under the belt, the whisky is a pleasant surprise. It’s highly sippable, mellow and with enough interesting flavors from the wine casks to get it from “novices whisky” level to the level where even those with lots of experience can enjoy it. I now look forward their future releases.