Soho Whisky Club on Tour
The Cotswolds Distillery
The Cotswolds Distillery - September 2018
"On Saturday 1st September fifteen lucky SWC members were treated to a special tasting by Founder / CEO Daniel Szor at his The Cotswolds Distillery."
Meeting at London Marylebone (with KT and Wagner being the first to arrive, cigars already alight), we just had enough time to wet the whistle before the 2.10 to Banbury.
A Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Tobermory 20 Year Old later and we hopped aboard our distillery bound bus. A short idle through the rambling Cotswoldian hills and we had arrived.
Dean Oseman showed us around before Dan himself treated us to some yet to be released Cotswold treats.
Following a distillery video we made our way directly to the stills and the distillery's production areas to be talked through the various complexities in making the gin, the liquors and, of course, that beloved dram.
The gin takes six days to make and here they use three times more botanicals than the norm. Another point of note re this award winning gin is that they leave it un-chill filtered. As Dean but it: 'Why would we go through all of that pain putting those oils in... only to take them out again after".
A trip into the on-site warehouse (the vast majority of casks filled here are kept under the river up in Liverpool and then brought back for on-site bottling) and our tour was about to get special.
We were lucky indeed to be taken up into The Cotswold Distillery's labs. Here we could see the real engine room; where the painstaking R&D takes place - here the real magic happens. The tour at this point already felt different ... we were clearly getting special treatment.
And now to the 'fun'. An incredible treat awaited us in the tasting room. The remarkable Daniel Szor - the distillery CEO and Founder - generously treated us to not just his time but some of his prized drams also.
As a group we were talked through three casks yet to be released - some of which won't be. One which the group as a whole particularly enjoyed was a Shaved, Toasted & Re-charred (STR). It was cask number 236. Still very high in alcohol (obviously) it was notably fruity but already impressively balanced. It won high praise indeed and Dan has already suggested to me that the reaction could well soon have a knock-on affect.
Down to the shop and a queue of us had Dan with Sharpie in hand to have something special to take away with us.
Really though, the personal nature of this tour needed no keepsake.
Thank you so much to Dan, Dean and the team. It was an incredible day out and the good times didn't end there!