Southern Comforts
Country Life UK|September 18, 2018
Southern Comforts

Fortnum & Mason’s newest whisky, which is distilled in the heart of the Cotswolds, goes against the grain.

Emma Hughes

IT’S got this lovely rich, malty, candied red-fruit thing going on,’ Oscar Dodd from Fortnum & Mason’s wine-and-spirits team tells me, proffering a glass of whisky for me to sniff. ‘there’s a hint of festive spice in there as well, I think. Cinnamon, vanilla…’

We’re on the shop’s third floor, in the cosseting embrace of leather armchairs at the new 3 and 6 Bar. Like us, patrons are sipping single malts as they tackle their teatime rarebits. the one we have in front of us was made a bit closer to home—and the pheasant etched on the label gives a clue to its origins.

English whisky. Sounds oxymoronic, doesn’t it? Like deafening silence or Microsoft Works. However, Fortnum & Mason’s first one, which is distilled in Shipston-on-Stour at the Cotswolds Distillery, has defied the eyebrow-raisers. After the first batch of 324 bottles flew off the shelves, a second is due to be released just in time for Christmas. Surely it’s novelty value that’s driving sales, isn’t it?

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September 18, 2018