A DISTILLERY in the Cotswolds has beaten international competition to win a coveted award in Whisky Magazine's 2018 Icons of Whisky Awards.

The Cotswolds Distillery, which only began production of whisky in September 2014, was named named ‘Craft Producer of the Year’ in the awards’ ‘Rest of World’ category, beating the likes of esteemed Japanese whisky artisan Chichibu.

The awards, organised by Whisky Magazine, have run since 2007. This year they were organised into six regions, reflecting the rise of new distilleries outside the traditional whisky producing nations.

Winners from each region will go head to head in March to compete in the global finals.

The distillery, which is based in Shipston-on-Stour near Moreton-in-Marsh, also picked up another award in the category "Visitor Attraction Manager of the Year", which went to Alison Dinnie.

Dinnie has looked after the distillery shop and tours programme for the last year and oversaw the distillery’s rise to #1 in TripAdvisor’s ranking of visitor attractions in the Cotswolds, beating more established attractions such as Gloucester Cathedral and the Royal Gardens at the Highgrove Estate.

Daniel Szor, founder and CEO of the Cotswolds Distillery said: “We are so pleased to have won this award, particularly in the “Rest of World” category of which we are so proud to play a part.

"The World Whisky movement is a very exciting part of the single malt whisky scene, encompassing high quality production from diverse corners of the world like Japan, Taiwan, England, Sweden, Italy, Switzerland, USA etc.

"These producers share a strong devotion to the highest quality, transparency and originality, and the passion that goes into every bottle is there for all to see. We have been waiting impatiently to show our whisky to the world and receiving this prestigious award less than six months after the launch of our first whisky release is a wonderful testament to the hard work of our very dedicated team.”