This day was a treat! It was a present to celebrate my birthday. The distillery is new; established 2014 with a goal to create single malt whisky. The amber nectar, Scotch, but not scotch – as it is English.
As it takes 3 years and a day to create whisky, we will have to wait to try their first drop although there are plenty of other spirits the wet our whistle – and they are a delight!
The distillery is nestled in a quaint little Cotswold village; turn the corner off the main road and you meet a small, 3 building farm. One is the shop; the second is the cook room, and the other is the cask room.
In the shop we are greeted and shown to a cinema room to discover where it all began. Mostly a story of a man with a passion and following it. After that we are taken to the cook room.
It was smaller than any other I had been too. Though I’ve never been to a distillery that young before. The explanations were great and the guide was funny and professional – a winning combination. First how they make their Gin. Then how they make their Whisky. The arrangement of flavours sounds amazing and only excited me more for the tasting at the end.
A quick run into the cask room where a selected number of their 1000+ casks are stored. If you want your own cask it will set you back around £3000 which seems like a bargain to me!
Now the finale, there was lots to offer from. First we tried their dry gin. Best in the world as I write this. Tasting it in 4 stages
Stage 1: Ttraight. Lovely and clean. Lavender running at the nose and your tongue.
Stage 2: Add Ice. This was my favourite. The gin isn’t filtered cold which adds to the theatre when you drop in a cube of ice. The gin clouds as the ice reacts to the citrus notes. This enhances the citrus. Pink Grapefruit shines through. What a stunning way to drink it.
Stage 3: Tonic. Recommended Fever tree, but only a little. This softens the taste and pepper begins to pop its warming head.
Stage 4: Add bitters. We had the choice of lavender or pink grapefruit. The lavender was a revelation. Floral for the win.
We were then given an explanation into their extensive list of delights.
- Single malt spirit – not a whisky, but an indication of what is to come.
- 1616 Gin
- Apple brandy
- Slow gin
- Espresso martini gin
- Crime liquor
- Spirit before the cask
- Spirit in ex-Bourbon
- Spirit in ex-red wine.
1,2,3 and 6 (because who doesn’t love that cocktail) were selected and none disappointed. So much so we came home with the 1616 and Espresso Martini. The dry gin was also a no and found its way into our bag also.
As someone who drinks whisky (fairly) regularly the 12 month single malt spirit was exciting. Taste of whisky but with freshness. Zingy and fruity. If this is what is to come of my reserved bottle of single malt then I will be a very happy man.
The espresso martini was exactly how I remember them, recently in a bar in Glasgow I necked a few back and that one small shot brought the memories flooding back. On the plus side I didn’t have to wait for your man from cocktail to make it this time!
The 1616 was special. Gin aged for 3 months in a cask to give it some colour. How un-gin! But it was brilliant. A gem. A sweet and warming blend of gin with mind warping thoughts of whisky due to the colour.
We could have stayed there all day. Sadly we were driving and the next tour was about to begin.
The place was excellent. The tour guide exceptional in their knowledge and enthusiasm – Sorry for making you ruin the cork on your Scapa. I’m glad I only live 40mins away, anyone who visits me now will be coming with me to try the rest!
Looking forward to my reserved bottle of the 3 year, I’m bottle number 4254. Take good care of it, and add an extra few drops if you can!