Review: Cotswolds Treacle Rum – 2022 Batch

Every year during December I’ve come to look forward for a new Cotswolds Treacle Rum release. Cotswolds is an English distillery situated in, well, Cotswolds and their main focus are gin and whisky production. The rum was a little experiment that one of Cotswolds’ Senior Distillers, Leon, conducted under the guidance of the former Wray Nephew Distillery Manager and Jamaican rum expert, Michael Delevante.

The goal of this experiment was to achieve a funky rum reminiscent of the Jamaican cane distillates – I must say after tasting 2 batches of Cotwolds rum, there’s barely any funk going on, but the rum ended up being pretty tasty nonetheless.

For convenience English Tate & Lyle No. 3 Treacle was used as the raw material, hence the name – it’s basically sweeter, less bitter molasses. Fermented between 10 to 30 days with dunder added, they distilled the first batch of rums in 2017 and casked them in cream sherry barrels of various sizes – the 2020 release was aged for 2 years, the 2021 one between 2 and 3 years and this one for almost 4 years.

The 2022 batch of Cotswolds Treacle Rum is treacle based, fermented up to 30 days with dunder and aged for 3 years (almost 4 years, minus a few days) in ex-Cream Sherry barrels. Bottled at 51% ABV without any additives – only 500 bottles were available.

On the nose it feels rich and creamy. Toffee, whole milk, vanilla, white chocolate and rapadura sugar. Raisins, maple syrup, black pepper and some cinnamon. Seems moreish with dark flavours. Cacao, treacle, new furniture and plum jam. Cappuccino and fortified wine.

On the palate the wood shows its fangs. Caramel, dark chocolate, biscuits, stout and figs. Fortified wine, rapadura sugar and sultanas. The cream sherry barrels impart a nice richness and some burnt oak flavours. Cocoa nibs, cappuccino and a touch of smokiness. Maple syrup and nutty layers. The finish is long with unrefined sugar and smoky flavours.

This is unadulterated, but it’s on the sweeter side of rums and I do have a soft spot for it. Nutty, rich, velvety and a little smoky, I enjoy it a lot!

I’ve been following the Cotswolds Treacle releases carefully and I have to say, every year it gets better. The casks are starting to add a bite to the rum, not just creamy sweetness and I am really into it. Unfortunately no more bottles are available at the moment, but if you’re interested just sign in for their Distillery Club and they’ll email you when the next batch is available.

Cotswolds Treacle Rum – 2022 Batch score:
Flavour/taste: 60/70
Value for money: 15/15
Transparency/purity: 15/15
Overall: 90/100


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