As part of the build up I’m featuring a series of blogs – both old and new – over the next month focusing on a country from each letter of the alphabet – if possible – that makes whisky.
Today is F for French Whisky.
I first got a taste for French whisky back in 2015.
Who could have resisted a champagne finished single malt from the wonderful Guillon Distillery which has been actively making whisky using locally grown barley cut with locally sourced water since 1997?
A gloriously sweet floral hit of champagne mixed with more earthy malt greeted you on first nosing.
Sadly the floral notes seemed to evaporate on tasting. Whilst you were left with a perfectly agreeable soft single malt – you were still expecting more from that initial delightful nose.
Their Cuvée 46 offering was a more traditional expression and also enjoyable.
Aged in French wine casks – the nose didn’t dominate the tasting experience and an overall more balanced & fruity single malt got the thumbs up.
I’d be very happily ‘Lost In France’ checking out their whiskies!
Quite how Brexit is going to change this situation is unclear.
But when I pop over for a holiday later in the year I’ll certainly be looking forward to exploring the output from some of the reported 40 French whisky distilleries operating or opening in the country.
Tres bon, n’ect-ce pas?
Merci to Distillerie Guillon for the header image.
Coming on the back of St Patrick’s Day it’s often amusing to point out that the man himself wasn’t actually Irish!
Controversy still reigns as to his actual birthplace. Some say Scotland, some say France and some say Wales. What is clear is that he certainly visited these countries during his lifetime. What is also interesting for the sake of this blog is that all these countries are whisky producers!
Scotch Whisky is firmly Numero Uno in the whisky world. French Whisky is a relative newcomer but has many exciting brands and expressions. This humble blogger has tried a few which were grand. The Champagne finished single malt from Guillon Distillery being one of them. Welsh Whisky is also a relative newcomer to the scene – despite a rich distilling history in Wales, there is only one distillery in operation today. A fine distillery it is too!
The whisky itself lives up to the heroic struggles of it’s namesake. A single malt finished in madeira casks bottled non chill-filtered at 41%, it gives a very rich aroma backed up by a satisfying taste a with long finish. Definitely an A class whiskey, if not A+ in my book! As this whisky is a limited expression, it may sell out, but Penderyn release a single malt madeira finish in their standard range bottled at 46% which may also be very good. I can’t wait to taste the other bottles which include sherrywood finish, peated and single cask expressions. Penderyn have already won awards since launching in 2004 so this is a distillery to watch out for.