Review: Cotswolds Treacle Rum – 2021 Batch

Here’s another limited-in-numbers English produced rum from a distillery that makes mainly gin and whisky – this time hailing from Cotswolds, UK. Cotswolds Distillery was founded in 2014 and they made a name for themselves with their Cotswolds Gin, and later in 2017, with their very own Cotswolds Whisky.

Cotswolds’ first batch of Treacle Rum was released in December 2020, with this 2nd batch following up one year later. I really enjoyed the first one so I didn’t hesitate at all when I received an email with the title “Our limited edition Cotswolds Treacle Rum is back!”. This started as an experiment conducted in 2017 by one of Cotswolds’ Senior Distillers, Leon, who was guided by Michael Delevante – Jamaican rum expert and former Distillery Manager at Wray & Nephew.

Leon used English Tate & Lyle No. 3 Treacle (probably for convenience), so basically molasses, which was fermented up to 30 days using a fruity red wine yeast and stillage (dunder). According to their website, they were aiming for a fruity, funky Jamaican style rum.

This batch is mostly the same as the one from last year, although aged for longer and it also has mixed in an extra barrel that underwent a different fermentation, which according to Leon, should give it a more “unripe tropical flavour fruit compared to the 2020 one.”.

So the 2021 Cotswolds Treacle Rum is molasses based, fermented for up to a month with the addition of dunder and distilled on both column and pot stills. Aged between 2 and 3 years in ex-Cream Sherry barrels and bottled in November at 51% ABV without any adulteration. This is a release of only 800 bottles.

On the nose it feels quite rich. Brown sugar, sweet toffee, stout, vanilla pods and burnt oak. Milk chocolate, sultanas, sweet English Breakfast Tea with a touch of bubblegum aroma. Blackberries, tobacco, orange zest and old leather. Yep, rich and moreish!

On the palate the flavours from the nose carry on. Toffee, burnt brown sugar, English Breakfast tea with a touch of milk and rich stout. There’s a subtle, yet lovely peat smoke aroma. Stone fruits in the background along with some canned prunes. Maple syrup, red fruits, sweet tobacco, black pepper, ground cinnamon and cloves. Some After Eight’s too! Pineapple and banana smoothie with nutmeg. The finish is long with tobacco, peat smoke and caramel.

Ok, so… I loved the 2020 one and this doesn’t disappoint either, it’s just delicious! It keeps all the rich, dark flavours I enjoyed in the last one while being fruittier and with more of a bite. Don’t expect a Jamaican funk beast like described on their website, but it definitely has character. I feel like the Cream Sherry casks acted more as a contrast to the base spirit rather than working together with its profile, but it ended up surprisingly balanced and complex.

It’s £50 for a 50cl bottle, which in my opinion is great value, I’ve already purchased a second bottle, so I’d recommend to get one while there’s still stock.

One of the best UK aged rums I have tried!

Cotswolds Treacle Rum – 2021 Batch score:
Flavour/taste: 59/70

Value for money: 15/15
Transparency/purity: 15/15
Overall: 89/100


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