I must admit that as soon as you step in the fabulous world of gin, it’s a bit difficult to stick with other white spirits.
As far as we know, gin was first produced in early 17th century in Holland. The beverage flavoured with botanicals received the taste of juniper to be more palatable because back that time, gin used as medicine to treat stomach problems.
But it was only in Britain that small distilleries started to produce gin in large scales as the white spirit that we know nowadays.
The popularity of gin in The UK is impressive. And it became a huge problem in 18th century with “Gin Craze” in London.
Nowadays, Gin is a synonymous of outstanding spirit.
And not just its quality increased but also its popularity. According to the WSTA Market Report, the industry here has plunging more than expected, with £500 million worth of gin sold last year.
The UK is the largest exporter of gin in the world with approximately 70% of UK production worth £373M going overseas to some 139 countries around the world.
Luckily, we don’t need to go anywhere far to get the taste of a multi-award-winning gin. Cotswolds Distillery is in the village of Shipston-on-Stour, an outstanding site surrounded by green fields in North Cotswolds. Definitely a perfect spot for producing fine spirits like whisky and gin.
The Cotswolds Distillery was founded in 2014. Since them, its business has being able produce over 100, 000 bottles of their Single Malt Whisky annually.
But it was its awarded-winning Cotswolds Dry Gin that took me there for a tour at the Distillery and a very much appreciative gin tasting. This fine gin was awarded recently as As a “Best London Dry Gin from the UK”, and “World’s Best London Dry Gin” – at the World Gin Awards in London. And of course, it deserved to be in the spotlight.
You can reach Cotswolds Distillery easily from Birmingham. It’s a 50-mile journey by car that can takes one hour with no traffic.
The tour starts with video session showing a bit of the Distillery’s history and its products. Right after, we step at the place where the magic is done with the help of a skilled staff and the crafted tailor-made hybrid Holstein still.
It’s extremely important to remember that you’re visiting a distillery on daily working hours and some health and safety issues like not wearing heels is important to be respected.
The science of producing artisanal spirit at Cotswolds Distillery using local herbs, flowers and other botanicals is something remarkable and fascinating.
After understand a little about whisky and gin is produced annually there, we headed to the warehouse where the casks are kept for their natural maturation process.
It’s just overwhelming to see single malt casks ready to be purchased and other ones already bought that owners can visit annually for a tasting a sample of their spirit.
There is also barrel-aged gin in process in this local like the Cotswolds 1616 that was created in honour of William Shakespeare on the 400th anniversary of his death.
The tasting room is the last part of the tour. It is also when you have the possibility of trying other products produced by the distillery too such as Cotswolds Cream Liqueur, Espresso Martini and etc.
And for those driving and not able to join the tasting, it’s possible toask for a sample of these products to try it later at home. Nice! I felt in love with the Espresso Martini. And tasting Costswolds Dry Gin for the first time was the finest moment of the tour indeed.
What I have brought back home:
1- Cotswolds Cream Liqueur: Made by combining our new-make single malt spirit with the nature’s freshest cream. It’s delicious. And we can see the difference in the quality and texture of this cream liqueur, compared to the popular brands we are used to buy.
2- Cotswolds Espresso Martini: One of my favourite drinks is really well presented here with orange peel, coriander seed and a secret spice blend. Loved it and I will come back for more.
3- Cotswolds Dry Gin: The reason why I visited the distillery is one of the best gins ever tried as well. I am not an expert but Cotswolds Dry Gin is outstanding. And we can feel well all balanced tastes from juniper, crisp citrus and spice.
4- Sample of Abisinthe: I’m not a very absinthe enthusiast but my husband had a go on the Cotswolds Absinthe and he could feel the 60% ABV in strenght.
To know more about Cotswolds Distillery:
* Visit http://www.cotswoldsdistillery.com/tours to book your tour to Cotswolds Distillery