Arts and Crafts movement inspires new English whisky aged in Sauternes casks

Cotswolds Distillery Hearts and Crafts whisky sauternes

An English whisky, matured in casks seasoned with sweet Sauternes wine, has been released as the first in a new series inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement.

Hearts and Crafts Sauternes Cask Single Malt Whisky is a limited edition produced by The Cotswolds Distillery using spirit from five French oak barriques that previously held the dessert wine.

Bottled at 55.2% ABV, the maturation process results in a honey-coloured malt with a vinous quality and notes of sweet raisin and oak wood spice.

It is the first in The Cotswolds Hearts & Crafts Collection which will consist of yearly limited editions. The concept is inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement which flourished in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, pioneered by designer William Morris who spent summers in his Cotswolds home, Kelmscott Manor.

The movement championed traditional, simple craftsmanship in contrast to the rapid industrialisation of Britain and the move away from traditional values and design.

Each edition will be presented in a gift box with a different William Morris pattern, reinforcing the creative beauty of the Arts and Crafts movement. Cotswolds Hearts & Crafts Sauternes Cask Single Malt Whisky has filled only 1,680 bottles and will not be repeated.

Plans for new whiskies have seen The Cotswolds Distillery put away casks of “specials” over the years (pictured). These have included both European and American oak casks, seasoned with Sauternes, pineau de Charente, calvados, rum, port, madeira, Banyuls aperitif, vermouth and other interesting wines.

To make the whisky, Cotswolds Distillery has sourced Odyssey malt that has been floor-malted at Warminster Maltings in Wiltshire using grain grown on Cotswolds farms. It uses two complementary varieties of yeast, Anchor and Fermentis, to ensure good yields and excellent fruity flavours. It is made with water supplied locally to the distillery in Stourton in Warwickshire, filtered, softened and demineralised before use.

According to the Cotswolds Distillery, the whisky has aromas of raisin and malted biscuit on the nose, opening up to notes of peach and ripe pears. On the palate, it delivers honey with fresh nectarine and a touch of lemon zest, leading to creamy vanilla and warm oak wood spice. It has a long finish with lingering spice and layers of light fruit.

With a recommended retail price of £74.95 for a 70cl bottle, it is available from today online.

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