Cotswolds Distillery has launched the second expression in its Hearts and Crafts series: a single malt whisky aged in Pineau de Charentes casks.
A lesser-known speciality of Charentes Maritime in western France, which encompasses the Cognac-producing region, Pineau de Charentes is made of a blend of fresh grape juice and Cognac which is left to age in oak barrels for a number of years.
Cotswolds Hearts and Crafts Pineau de Charentes Cask has been aged in white grape Pineau casks and is bottled at 55.2% ABV. The distiller says the French oak imparts a more tannic note than the American oak used for aging its whisky. This new expression has spent its full maturation term in the Pineau casks.
Tasting notes provided by the distillery say to expect a rich nose with tonka bean, marzipan and caramelised peaches, notes of raisins, brazil nuts, dried orange peel and fudge on the palate, and a warming finish with hints of white pepper and almonds.
Released to coincide with St George's Day (23 April), just 1,600 bottles of the new Hearts and Crafts expression will be made available exclusively from the Cotswolds Distillery website
Cotswolds Distillery founder Daniel Szor said: "I first started drinking Pineau on a trip to the beautiful Atlantic island of Isle de Ré, just off the cost of La Rochelle, in 1994 and I’ve always had a soft spot for it, hence the excitement at the idea of aging our Cotswolds single malt spirit in these casks."
The Pineau de Charentes Cask bottle is adorned with a verdant green print by William Morris, a prolific designer and one of the leaders of the arts and crafts movement in British design and architecture in the late 19th century which inspired the Hearts and Crafts series.