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The Cotswold Distilling Company Limited (trading as The Cotswolds Distillery) was founded in 2013 and is, in its director’s opinion, well on the way to becoming a leading producer of world class ultra-premium whisky, gin and other branded spirits, as well as a premier tourist/visitor experience in the Cotswolds.  

About The Cotswolds Distillery

The Company, which began operations in September 2014, was created to capitalise on the significant opportunities in the ultra-premium craft spirits market, already very much in evidence in the USA, and now increasingly in the UK [1]. It is situated in an ideal location in one of England’s wealthiest [2] and most visited areas, the Cotswolds ( The Company is producing maturing stocks of whisky at the rate of 175,000 bottles equivalent per annum and have introduced a range of other branded spirits to the market including gin, espresso martini, liqueurs and fruit brandies. These products are being sold already through some of the UK's most important retailers and distributors such as Majestic Wines [3], Fortnum and Mason [4], Oddbins[5], Harvey Nichols [6], and The Whisky Exchange [7], and also into numerous export markets including the US, Germany, France and Japan. The onsite visitor centre has proved its worth even quicker than expected, drawing nearly 1,000 visitors per month this summer.

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What sets Cotswolds Distillery apart?

While the Cotswolds Distillery is not alone in the UK craft distillery movement, the director believes his strategy puts the Cotswolds Distillery in a very strong competitive position and that it will drive exceptional growth through a series of differentiators:

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How does the Cotswolds Distillery generate revenue?

The Cotswolds Distillery generates revenue from both products and experiences. Its spirits are sold in numerous channels, including through its on-site visitor centre, through mass market and specialist retailers, the bar and restaurant trade, wholesalers and into export markets. In its shop the Cotswolds Distillery also sells branded clothing and accessories. Alongside its products, the Cotswolds Distillery generates additional revenue from its distillery tours and events such as distillery dinners, promotions and classes. The tours drive additional buyers into its shop. In addition, the Company has been very successful in pre-selling its whisky in both bottles and barrels for delivery in 2018 and beyond, which provides welcome up-front cash flow. 

What is the Market for its products?

The director believes that there is a revolution occurring in the global spirits industry and that consumers are turning away from traditional branded spirits to higher priced ultra-premium products from a new breed of artisanal craft distillers that have been springing up in the US, the UK and across the world (Nielsen report) [11].  According to Nielsen estimates, while the overall demand for spirits in the UK grew at 3.61% pa over the 12 months period ending August 2015, consumption of craft spirits grew at 47%.  Premium spirits brands are growing despite slow economic growth [12] because, according to the director’s opinion, they offer consumers an affordable luxury.

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Why invest in The Cotswolds Distillery?

Although the Company has only been trading since 2014, it is now a well-established business that is well ahead of its initial plan on all key metrics: whisky production, gin sales, export sales and overall revenues. The Cotswolds Distilleries’ products have achieved very strong reviews from customers [13] and expert reviewers alike, with noted whisky writer Jim Murray recently awarding its young single malt 94 out of 100 points and classifying it as “Liquid Gold” [14]

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What is the Company's plan for growth?

In the coming three years the Company believes that growth will be driven by several key elements: 1) launch of its whisky onto the market in October 2017, 2) building on the early success of its gin and other spirits with further market penetration across all sales channels, 3) increased visitor traffic through the distillery and onsite shop. Underpinning this is the extraordinary level of demand growth for premium craft spirits, reported at approximately 50% for the 12 months period ending August 2015 [15]. The capital raised in this crowdfunding round will enable the Company to fund all these elements of its growth plan. Additional growth opportunities for a later phase are planned through: 1) a low cost doubling of whisky production, 2) expansion of the visitor centre and 3) opening of a satellite storefront in a nearby Cotswolds town. 

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Investment Offer

The Company is now seeking additional equity funding of a minimum of £500,500 and a maximum of £1,001,000 to allow for the next phase of growth after which it expects to be self-funding prior to an eventual public listing.  The investment is EIS eligible which allows early investors to benefit from significant tax relief on income and capital gains on what the director believes will be a very profitable exit at the time when Company achieves a public listing.  

Exit Strategy

The Company believes it would make an ideal candidate for listing on an exchange such as the Alternative Investment Market (AIM). This would offer liquidity to its investors as well as a potential source of new capital for further growth investment. Alternatively, the Company will consider buying back a reasonable number of shares each year once it has become strongly cash generative. Lastly, with the very strong growth in consumer interest in premium craft spirits[16], the major spirits companies have bought a number of brands at very attractive prices[17], as noted above, and the Company would be open to this possibility under the right circumstances.

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Amount Offering Availability
£1,000 1 bottle of limited-edition "Inaugural Release Cotswolds Single Malt Whisky" (delivered in October 2017) or 1 bottle of Cotswolds Dry Gin (immediate delivery). Plus "Complementary Distillery Tour & Tasting for Two". Plus 10% discount on all purchases in the Cotswolds Distillery shop. 500
£5,000 Case of 6 bottles of limited-edition "Inaugural Release Cotswolds Single Malt Whisky" (delivered in October 2017) or Case of 6 bottles of Cotswolds Dry Gin (delivered immediately) or mixed case of above. Plus "Private Distillery Tour & Tasting for Two". Plus 10% discount on all purchases in the Cotswolds Distillery shop 100
£10,000 A bottle of special limited-edition cask-strength single malt every year, for the first five years following the Company’s first bottling (October 2017). Plus "Private Distillery Tour & Tasting for Two". Plus 10% discount on all purchases in the Cotswolds Distillery shop. 50
£25,000 A distilling class for the investor (4 people max.) and private tasting hosted by our distillers and a bottle of special limited-edition cask-strength single malt every year, for the first five years following the Company’s first bottling (October 2017). Plus "Private Distillery Tour & Tasting for Two". Plus 10% discount on all purchases in the Cotswolds Distillery shop. 10
£50,000 A 50-litre cask of whisky filled by the investor, along with 3 years’ storage in the Cotswolds Distillery’s warehouse (does not include VAT, excise taxes and bottling charges). Plus "Private Distillery Tour & Tasting for Two". Plus 10% discount on all purchases in the Cotswolds Distillery shop 5

Investors should not consider investing so as to obtain a "reward" unless the size of the investment is suitable for them

Raised £1,001,000.00
Days to go Completed
Funding period ended on 31 January 2016
Target £500,500
Min. Investment £350
Equity on Offer 5.70%
Investors (124)
Follow Download the full business plan
Business Contact

Phillip’s Field, Whichford Road
Stourton, Shipston-on-Stour
CV36 5HG

The Cotswolds Distillery Team and advisors

Daniel Szor

Daniel Szor


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Dan was born and raised in New York City. After receiving a B.A. in International Relations from Tufts University, he went to work with Bank of Boston, then Credit Lyonnais, as a foreign exchange trader. From 1987 through 2013 Daniel worked with FX Concepts, a leading investment manager specializing in foreign exchange trading, in New York, Paris and London. Daniel's primary focus has been marketing, and since 1993 was responsible for business development in Europe and the Middle East, raising several billion dollars from major pension funds, banks and funds-of-funds. His colleagues referred to him as “Mr. Coca-Cola” due to his ability to both craft and deliver clear, sincere and credible messages for complex products.
Daniel was first bitten by the whisky bug during his years living in Paris (France is the world's largest per-capita consumer of single malt Scotch whisky). After several years making annual pilgrimages to Scotland with his best friend, he bought his first cask in 2002 from the newly re-opened Bruichladdich distillery on Islay. As Daniel watched Bruichladdich grow under the creative and fearless management of James McEwan, he began thinking about starting his own distillery. Jim introduced Daniel to former colleague Harry Cockburn and the Cotswolds Distillery was born.
Nickolas Franchino

Nickolas Franchino

Distillery Manager

Nick’s interest in artisan spirits was piqued at an early age when tasting his Italian relatives’ homemade liqueurs and spirits, and after reaching a crossroads in life knew that making artisan spirits was his calling. With a BA in Archaeology and Masters degrees in Physical Anthropology and Philosophy, and careers in the family import business and the hospitality trade, as well as a short lived and adrenaline-fueled time as a professional cage fighter, change was in order. After meeting Dan at an Institute of Brewing and Distilling (IBD) Fundamentals of Distilling course in Edinburgh he arrived at the Cotswolds Distillery several months later. Nick has recently sat the exams for the full IBD distilling diploma and passed all three segments with special mention.
Shaun Smith

Shaun Smith

Head Brewer & Assistant Distillery Manager

After graduating Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh with an MSc in Brewing and Distilling Shaun, went straight to work as a brewer and head of R&D; for a small craft brewery in West Sussex. He developed many proven botanical beer recipes, including new spirit beers, but his true passion was always distilling. Shaun’s master’s degree project was in Absinthe production, and he made quite an impression on Dan showing up for his interview in the Cotswolds armed with several bottles of the “green fairy”, along with a few amazing gins, all of which he’d put together in his spare time! Shaun is highly creative, and equally at home in R&D; and production. He works with Nick and helps to oversee the distillery and the assistant distillers.
John Jeffrey

John Jeffrey

National Sales, Export & Logistics Director

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John came to us with a wealth of experience from 27 years in the drinks industry with Diageo, Scottish Courage, Allied Breweries and latterly as an independent consultant working across numerous sales, marketing and distribution projects in branded spirits, including Akvinta and Stolichnaya Vodkas and Reisetbauer Blue Gin and Edgerton Pink Gin. With a Scotsman’s first love of Whisky and then all things spirits and the London Cocktail scene, it was out of some other start up distillery projects that he first met Dan when he was just starting to pull his plans together. Supporting in all areas of the business John now looks after export markets, national sales and logistics. John holds a BSc. in Biological Sciences from the University of Edinburgh.
Dee Gogia

Dee Gogia

Regional Sales Manager

Having run a successful business and then a complete career change as a consultant in the wine industry, Dee read numerous articles in the press about Dan's passion and vision to start the first ever distillery in the Cotswolds and was hooked. Dee’s young family decided that this was the perfect opportunity to relocate and to settle permanently from his lifelong homeland of West London to the beautiful Cotswolds at the back end of 2014. He worked at the local branch of Majestic Wines and also started with Cotswolds Distillery on a part-time basis in February. By June, the demand and success of the brand was so high that full-time was the natural next step to help grow and progress the business.
Melanie Crowson

Melanie Crowson

Office and Accounts Manager

Born and bred in the Cotswolds, Mel has built up a wealth of experience managing the accounts of numerous small and medium sized businesses over the years. Great with people, and an excellent communicator she helps to keep us all on the straight and narrow, and the distillery flowing. Melanie has an accounts and business studies educational background and has worked locally as an accounts administrator for over 15 years.
Harry Cockburn

Harry Cockburn

Operations and Production Consultant

Harry has more than 45 years experience in the distilling industry, dating back to 1965. He began as an apprentice engineer prior to 1965, at which point he found himself gravitating to the distilling industry and took on the position of Chief Engineer at Inver House Distillers for the next 9 years, where he was responsible for malt and grain distilling, malting, bottling & blending and cooperage.
Harry spent the next 20 years with Bowmore Distillery in several roles, including distillery manager and then group engineer for three related distilleries: Bowmore, Auchentossan, Glen Garioch. During this time he carried out the installation and commissioning of distilleries in South Korea and Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. In 1990, he became production director and remained in that position until its takeover by Suntory of Japan in 1994. Since then he has worked with numerous distillery start-ups across the globe.
Dr. Jim Swan

Dr. Jim Swan

Wood & Aging Consultant

Jim has a unique knowledge of whisky-making technology and he consults with distilleries worldwide. During his more than 35-year career, Jim has been chemist, analyst, blender, maturation expert, researcher and developer, inventor, author of scientific papers, technical adviser and lecturer. He has accumulated deep, detailed knowledge about topics ranging from oak wood products, cask management, flavour composition, distillation and blending. The Cotswolds Distillery feels very lucky to count him among our team of specialist consultants.
Craig Mackinlay

Craig Mackinlay

Design & Branding Consultant

Craig has been serving as our de facto creative director and is the godfather of our branding. His firm, Breeze Creative Design Consultants, was set up in 2004 by him and his wife Nicola on the back of over 30 years’ combined experience in the design/media/marketing industry. Previously Craig was head of design at one of Scotland’s big agencies and he has won many international awards, particularly for brand development and packaging design, demonstrating his ability to come up with truly impactful design solutions. Craig’s speciality is whisky and he has helped to create numerous iconic brands north of the border.
William L. Richter & Paul Beckwith

William L. Richter & Paul Beckwith

Corporate Finance Advisors

Bill and Paul are both investors in Cotswold Distilling and have been advising Dan on financing. Bill is a Harvard BA/MBA and the co-founder of Cerberus Capital LLC, one of the world’s largest private equity funds. He is a long time family friend, and has helped Daniel to create the company’s initial Founders Circle funding structure. Paul is an Oxford DPhil in chemistry and followed a highly successful 18 year career in investment banking with Chase and J.P. Morgan as an angel investor with a number of entrepreneurial ventures. He is a Cotswolds resident, and has been working closely with Dan on the firm’s financial structuring.

The Cotswolds Distillery has passed CrowdBnk’s Bootcamp

  • A thorough review of the businesses commercial, financial and tax situation. This ensures that the likelihood of any issues are greatly reduced and ironed out before they get to the investor.
  • Verification of the identity and track record of the company directors and major shareholders.
  • Review of business plan, competition and key contracts – ensuring all statements and claims are backed up with data and source.
  • Review of ownership structure and capitalization, ensuring clarity of the value of the shares that investors are buying.
  • Valuation negotiation to ensure that the investment offer is fair for all parties.
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Can I invest through a SIPP?

Cotswolds Distillery Shares are eligible for investment by a UK Self Invested Personal Pension (SIPP), but are not permitted investments for Individual Saving Accounts (ISAs). The acceptability of an investment by a UK investor’s SIPP is wholly dependent upon the investment policy and procedures of the investor’s SIPP Trustee. In the first instance, an investor would need to contact their SIPP Trustee and provide them with a copy of the Investment Memorandum.

Can you share the last audited accounts for the company and its financial forecasts for the coming years

Please email [email protected] and, if you are classified as a High Net Worth Individual or a Sophisticated Investor, we will forward you a revised business plan containing financial projections. We will also forward you the company's accounts as filed at Companies House.
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