“I suddenly thought, there’s barley all over the Cotswolds and nobody’s distilling it, let’s be the first!”
Daniel Szor – Founder, Cotswolds Distillery
It all started back in 2014 when the founder Daniel Szor, a native New Yorker, moved to the Cotswolds after working in finance in London for many years. Seeking to leave behind that world and spend more time in the picturesque countryside of the Cotswolds with his family, it eventually dawned on him that he could combine his love of whisky with his desire to start a new business. A dedicated whisky fan, Dan saw the fields of golden barley around his house in the Cotswolds and had a brainwave ‘I suddenly thought, there’s barley all over the Cotswolds and nobody’s distilling it, let’s be the first!’.
Having found a derelict site near his house, he set about building a distillery and a team to run it, and the doors of the Cotswolds Distillery opened in July 2014. Located just outside the beautiful village of Stourton, they welcome over 30,000 people to the distillery each year, offering visitors the chance to get up close and personal with the full range of Outstanding Natural Spirits.
After 3 years of eager anticipation, in October the Cotswolds Signature Single Malt Whisky was released, the first whisky ever to be distilled in the Cotswolds and the one which remains at the heart of their DNA. In the years since its launch, Cotswolds Distillery have expanded the range of single malt whiskies to include the Cask Collection comprising four unique cask expressions, a yearly released limited edition “Hearts & Crafts” series drawing inspiration from the Arts & Crafts movement, and hand-picked single cask releases.
Although Dan’s dream was always to make whisky, he also wanted to create a full range of delicious spirits including gins and liqueurs. Their first project was the gin, on which 2 months were spent researching botanical recipes. They then distilled 150 individual botanical spirits in a whole range of different flavours and set about experimenting with different combinations. The distillers created over 60 individual gin recipes which were whittled down to one finalist, and that became Cotswolds Dry Gin. It may have started as something of a side-project, but it’s now at the heart of what they do and are very proud of what has been created.
“Whether it’s running our whisky fermentation for longer than the standard duration, or using ten times the average amount of gin botanicals, we believe in producing delicious spirits to the best of our ability, no matter the cost.”