Archive for the ‘France’ Category

Brenne French Whisky 10 year old, 1st Edition 48%

Matured in new Limousin oak barrels before being finished in Cognac casks

Tasted: Dec 2014

Nose: Now that’s an unusual nose! Earthy and lightly manurey with straw and violets. Quite winey with coffee, heather, gorse and a multitude of herbal notes.

Palate: Soft and densely honeyed with herbal coffee, violets and a touch of manure. Very herbal on the middle with hints of straw, sour apricot and pears soap!

Finish: Long and very heathery with hints of juniper, coriander and green pepper in the finish.

Conclusion: That’s weird but I kind of like it!

Brenne Estate Cask 40%

Single Cask

Tasted: Feb 2016

Nose: Very herbal with aniseed and a touch of perfumed white fruit and honey.

Palate: Loaded with bubblegummy white fruit, confected pineapple, aniseed, crème soda and spices.

Finish: Medium length with lingering cream soda notes.

Conclusion: I can’t say I’m a huge fan of cream soda with my whisky!


Black Mountain Whisky BM No1 42%

Tasted: Dec 2014

Nose: Deep, lightly toffee’d with plenty of herbal notes. Hints of white fruit, dusty barley and heather appear.

Palate: Quite grainy with hints of toffee and coffee to begin with. A little bitter oak comes through on the middle with some liquorice and burnt herbs.

Finish: A little bitter and coffee’d with lingering lightly industrial notes.

Conclusion: If this is what I think it is then it’s a step backwards for this distillery!

Black Mountain Whisky BM No1 42%

Tasted: Mar 2015

Nose: Hugely estery aromas of pineapple, apricot, melon and banana with a touch of greengage. Lightly herbal and botanical. With time the aromas become quite taught and mineral.

Palate: Lightly honeyed and again full of generously fleshy, estery fruit – pineapple, apricot, melon and banana. Just a smidge of oak comes through on the middle along with the botanical/ herbal notes.

Finish: A little short with a slightly spirity finish.

Conclusion: A lovely malt, which runs out of steam a little on the palate. I would have liked to have seen a little more oak interaction.

Black Mountain Whisky BM No2 40%

Tasted: Dec 2014

Nose: Deep and honeyed with an edgy graininess and hints of smoke. A little hard barley emerges along with hints of under ripe banana, pineapple chunks and a touch of toffee.

Palate: Full if a little watery with toffee, barley, herbal and a touch of honey. The grain comes through on the middle.

Finish: Very bitter.

Conclusion: Quite pleasant up until the finish!


Armorik Breizh French Whisky (Whisky Breton) 42%

Armorik Breizh is a blended whisky from the Warenghem distillery in Bretagne, France. The blend has (allegedly) a very high malt content of 50%.

Tasted: Feb 2013

Nose: A very young and cerealy nose with a slight gristiness and a slight oiliness and a slight oakiness. Lacking complexity really though.

Palate: Young, oily and cerealy.

Finish: Medium length with a crisp grain finish.

Conclusion: Too young with absolutely no input from the malt component.

Armorik  Breizh Whisky Breton 42%

Best Blended European

Nose: Youthful peat, white fruit, apple and mentholated herbs. Quite estery with hints of pineapple and banana. With time it becomes quite sweet with just the barest hint of grain noticeable.

Palate: Light, attractive and smoky with citrus and white fruit. Oily middle with the peat turning a little dusty and the citrus becoming pleasantly sweet.

Finish: Good length with hints of coconut and creamy oak with some late spicy grain.

Conclusion: A pleasant, well put together peaty blend.

Armorik  Breizh  Whisky Breton Blended Single Distillerie 42%

Nose: Lovely aromas of succulent, mature, tropical fruit and sawdusty oak. Beautifully deep with a touch of manuka honey, white fruit, melon, barley and a lithe citrus note.

Palate: Soft and quite heavy on the vanilla. A little watery but it has some pleasant barley and honeyed moments. Still quite tropical with apricot, banana, citrus and a light spiciness.

Finish: Reasonable length with the fruit offsetting the slightly bittering oak.

Conclusion: If only the palate had a little more intensity, then it would have scored a lot higher.

Armorik Whisky Breton Double Maturation 7 year old, 46%

Matured  in fresh Breton oak and then transferred to sherry butts for further maturation.

Tasted: Feb 2013

Nose: Briny, youthful cereal. Rather immature with a touch of cardboard.

Palate: Soft, oily cereal and cardboard. Not much else really!

Finish: Medium length with a confected finish.

Conclusion: Hmm, not great!

Armorik Whisky Breton Double Maturation 46%

Re-Tasted: July 2014

Nose: Gently phenolic with dense apricot and barley. Faintly briny with some lightly oiled orange and earthy peat. With time a crunchy granulated sugar note appears as the peat slinks off!

Palate: Opens with lightly oiled Satsuma and some pretty astringent herbal notes. Sweet barley and a light vanilla not try to balance. Intense, mouth-watering middle with a light peat intimation.

Finish: Reasonable length with a slight gritty peat smoke and light tannin finish along with the tart citrus and a touch of green apple in the after-taste.

Conclusion: A pleasant enough dram. I could have done with a little more intensity.

Amorik Maitre de Chai 46%

Tasted: Feb 2016

Nose: Pungently estery and very vanilla’d and toffee’d. Hints of herbal malt biscuits and a developing sultana sweetness. With time it becomes quite perfumed and buttery.

Palate: Not as perfumed as the nose but still young and estery with oily banana skin and pineapple. A little dusty barley arrives along with some drying oak notes on the middle.

Finish: Long, perfumed and sweet.

Conclusion: A little too perfumed.

Amorik Maitre de Chai 46%

Re-Tasted: Sept 2016

Nose: Wonderfully fresh and aromatic with sweet cherries in syrup, clove and toasty oak. Hints of barley and oxidised cognac-esque fruit, chalk and honey follow.

Palate: Full and robust with upfront oxidised dried fruit, followed by barley and a light syrup note. Quite mineral and chalky on the middle with subtle toasty oak, cinnamon and clove.

Finish: Long and exceptionally smooth with lingering oxidised fruit, drying oak and coffee.

Conclusion: Distinctly different and proving once again that great whisky making isn’t just the preserve of the Scottish.

Guillon Louvois ‘Le Single Malt’ 46%

Bourbon – Maury/ Tasted: Nov 2007

Crisp and fresh, fern like aromas. It’s edgy and oily with hard barley, tobacco and earth. It has a foxy, sort of Baco 22a (the weird and wonderful hybrid grape of Armagnac) quality. There is some malt and a slightly floral winey orange top note.

On the palate it is oily and foxy, resembling the characteristics of a good quality marc. A lovely purity with a bitter chocolate and slightly winey middle. The finish is pure unsugared custard with that ferny/ tobacco/ foxiness returning on the finish. The spirit is around 5 years and although not perfect I think it shows a great deal of promise. Fancy something different? Oui Monsieur!!! 

Guillon Louvois ‘Le Single Malt’ 43%

Bourbon – Meursault/ Tasted: Nov 2007

After the 46% bottling this is a big disappointment and seems to be a bit un-integrated. The nose is winey and marc like with rose petals, and a very unpleasant whiff of vinyl/ rubber/ plastic, which is off putting to say the least!

The palate is not much better. Initially it is quiet sweet and winey, with the marc like rose petal noticeable along with spice and a very fleeting peat note. It is definitely lacking in balance, it is cloyingly sweet  like sugar candy dissolved in rose water and Turkish delight!