Review: Cotswolds Treacle Rum

Cotswolds Distillery located in, well, Cotswolds was established in 2014 and entered the market with their Cotswolds Dry Gin, although the main focus of the distillery was always whisky production. Their flagship, the award-winning Cotswolds Single Malt whisky launched in 2017, is one of my favourite single malts out there and when I saw they launched a Cotswolds made rum… well I just had to get involved.

A few years ago I went on a distillery tour along with some work colleagues and got the opportunity to briefly taste the rum they were making at the time as it was coming off the still. While I couldn’t be certain it was the same batch as the one in my bottle, I remember it had a nice Wray-ish profile to it and it left me longing for more. Luckily a few days ago they announced the release of a limited rum release called Cotswolds Treacle Rum for their Cotswolds Distillery Club and I snagged a bottle as quick as I could – you can join their club on their website. They used English made molasses, more exactly Tate and Lyle Sugars No.3 Treacle hence the name.

So the rum is molasses based, fermented for 10 days using red wine yeast and dunder as they wanted to simulate a Jamaican rum profile. A 50/50 blend of both pot and column stills aged for 2 years in two quarter ex-Cream Sherry casks and one 50 litre also ex-Cream Sherry cask. Bottled at 51% ABV with a limited run of 570 500ml bottles for this batch and free of additives.

On the nose it feels rich and sweet. Brownies, cocoa butter, raisins and marshmallows. There’s a lovely sweet sherry/port profile to it… I mean ‘duh’, given the casks used. Some rich stout, sweet pineapple and agave syrup. Quite a bit of vanilla along with sour cherries and cloves. Strawberry jam, lychee and dusty furniture. It keeps on going with rich and warm aromas.

On the palate the wood influence is quite big. Tobacco, loads of it, charred oak, vanilla custard, old leather, cloves and cinnamon sticks. If spicy-wood-chocolate cream would’ve been a thing, that would be the theme of this rum. Stone fruits, overripe bananas, red wine, caramelised walnuts and maple syrup. A Jamaican rum counterpart I could compare it to would be Appleton 12 Year Old but fruitier and hotter. Damp cardboard, a dash of engine oil and hot cayenne pepper. The finish is long with vanilla, mulled wine and a lovely smokiness.

I went in expecting a Worthy Park-ish profile because the production process was described as aiming to a Jamaican style rum, but made in Cotswolds, so from that point of view I was let down. But that’s all on me, after I re-visited it and took it as its own thing then it occurred to me I can’t get enough of it. Rich, spicy and wine-y, it also fits very well into the festive season and even at 51% ABV it’s still quite sessionable. My only complaint would be that the wood influences are just a tad overpowering, but otherwise I am more than happy I spent £50 on this. For the record it makes a great Rum Old Fashioned.

Always interesting to try UK distilled rum rather than imported, I’m looking forward to see how this style will develop. Apparently later batches of Cotswolds rums had around a month fermentation period so I can’t wait to see what those will bring to the table.

Cotswolds Treacle Rum score:
Flavour/taste: 57/70
Value for money: 15/15
Transparency/purity: 15/15
Overall: 87/100


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