A limited edition Pineau des Charentes Cask Single Malt Whisky is the second expression in The Cotswolds Distillery’s ‘Hearts & Crafts’ collection.
It celebrates the Arts & Crafts movement which flourished in the Cotswolds and stood for the importance of traditional craftsmanship – the same values upon which their distillery was built.
A small parcel of premium French oak ex-red wine casks seasoned with white Pineau des Charentes was selected – a blend of fresh grape juice and Cognac.
Non-chill filtered. Natural colouring.
Malt: Odyssey, grown on Cotswolds farms and floor-malted at Warminster Maltings.
Yeast: Two complementary varieties – Anchor and Fermentis – to ensure good yields and excellent fruity flavours.
Water: Village water supply – filtered, softened and demineralised before use.
Wood: French oak ex-red wine casks seasoned with white Pineau des Charentes.
Appearance: Very fresh and vibrant copper. Lovely orange hue! Plenty of oily coating when swirled, lovely medium/thick legs.
Nose: You can smell this from a few feet away! Fruit and nut bar, with roasted hazelnuts and chocolate. Big fresh red berries, bursting from the glass.
Wood and leather chair in a grand old room.The ABV really helps the aromas pack a punch, but it’s not overpowering at all, very well judged! Icing sugar, orange peel, marzipan (I did see this in the official tasting notes, it’s very obvious).
There’s also a herbal, spring-like quality: Fresh cut grass and hay barn.
Palate: Not hugely oily on the palate. Quite a spicy delivery, with black pepper and even chilli, tingles on the tongue and catches the throat on the first sip.
The second sip onward reveals the more subtle flavours: buttery bitter chocolate, cherry, a copper twang white pepper.
There’s a citrus sourness, grapefruit is there, as it’s orange, luckily the latter is dominant.
The rich, deep fruity wine influence, for me, only comes in the latter half of the glass. red berries, velvety fruit pie and creamy custard.
Finish: Short to medium. Spicy and cooling. Black pepper is back, with menthol this time. There’s an undercurrent of stewed red fruits.
Overall: I can already tell that this whisky needs the long game. It’s good freshly opened, but I fully expect, and hope, that the bottle will get better and better as it’s consumed.
Well played Cotswolds, well played.