Cocktails with… Cotswolds 1616 Gin

Last month saw the commemoration of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. As such, throughout this year, various events have taken place across the UK and the world, remembering the bard’s life and work. The world of gin is not immune to this commemoration; the Cotswolds Distillery have recently launched a special aged gin to mark the occasion.

1616 Cotswolds Barrel Aged Gin.jpg

Cotswolds 1616 Gin is created in the style of a 17th Century aged genever. Its botanicals include:
Juniper
Coriander
Angelica root
Orange peel (dried)
Caraway
Nutmeg
Cassia
All spice

It is made using the same base spirit as their single malt whisky, so far more of the base character comes through. It is aged in American oak ex-red wine casks.

On its own
Nose: Freshly baked fruit loaf with dark, spiced fruits and a hint of candied peel, as well as dark chocolate chips and vanilla.
Taste: This gin has a luxurious, thick texture that fills the mouth and a light, cosy warmth to it. There are oily citrus notes to start, then the base notes come through, adding a touch of chocolate and a hint of breadiness akin to marble rye bread. This is followed by dark, vine fruit notes and a gentle lift of cedar and oak.
Finish: Dry, with notes of juniper and an array of complex, spiced notes: a combination of baking spices and deeper, peppery, menthol, mace-like notes, which linger for several minutes after sipping.

Frozen
Quite ale-like – the rich malt notes really shine through, making it almost reminiscent of a beer schnapps – with the lingering citrus pine of juniper and dry, fruity wine notes. Unusual, but quite fascinating.

Sweet Martini
Delicious; more complex and less dry than many Sweet Martinis, with a soft and smooth texture and some juicy wine and mellow malt notes. Really very good.

Old Fashioned
Possibly my favourite way to drink this spirit. It has all of the engagement and subtlety of a whisky Old Fashioned; a drink full of nuance from the malt, cereal base, and the aromatic botanicals. Light spice and wood notes from the wine casks come through on the finish.

With Soda
Superb: fresh and complex with hints of anis and grape, followed by woody spice and a crisp, dry finish. There is also a very light vanilla sweetness – delightful.

Negroni
Delightful and soft with that rich and warming bready character from the base spirit singing through. The woody, slightly tannic notes from the wine barrels are also an excellent match to the Campari and Red Vermouth – very tasty indeed.