New Yorker goes against grain with plan for English whisky distillery

Entrepreneur Daniel Szor
Entrepreneur Daniel Szor
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A businessman is to tackle the Scots at their own game after announcing the opening of a new whisky distillery – deep in England.

Entrepreneur Daniel Szor, 51, plans to produce ultra-premium, small-batch, single-malt whisky from his new plant in the Cotswolds.

He aims to have his first run of 5,000 “single estate” bottles of Cotswolds Single Malt ready by 2017 – although they are available for pre-sale and to reserve now.

A limited number of casks will also be laid down for a minimum of five years.

The distillery will also produce dry gin and a range of brandies and liqueurs made from local fruits and berries. Mr Szor is renovating two Cotswold stone buildings at Stourton, near Shipston, in Warwickshire, to equip as the distillery, tasting rooms and offices.

He has also assembled a highly experienced team of five staff, including renowned Scottish master distiller Harry Cockburn.

Mr Szor hopes to begin producing his first bottles by September this year before selling on his gin the following summer. “We are excited to be creating an adventurous new landmark for the region and for English whisky,” said Mr Szor, who is originally from New York.

“It was a personal passion for single malt which created the idea, I was charmed by the Scottish and their production. I really didn’t want to sit behind a desk any more so I thought to myself ‘what else can I do?’

“I just happened to be looking out of the window at our Cotswolds house and I saw a beautiful field full of barley and thought I could distil that.

“All of the ingredients we need are available in the Cotswolds.”

He hopes to produce around 120,000 bottles of whisky a year.

The creation of a new English whisky distillery is very rare, due to the considerable investment and time required.

There are only about 24 commercial English craft distilleries, most of which distil gin and vodka.