Last week I had the honor to participate in a special tweeter tasting of French Whisky blind tasting organized by my French friend Franck (from the lacavedecobalt.com blog) for the 3rd birthday of his blog (Happy BlogDay Franck!). If you have followed my reviews in the blog, you’ll know I’m very keen to try world whiskies and this event was a very important addition to my knowledge – In this tasting we explored 5 different Whisky expressions from 4 different distilleries and I must tell you – it was very educational experience!
Today I’ll review the 2 whiskies which I loved the best from the event and, lo and behold, they both come from the same distillery – Armorik Distillery from the Brittany region.
The first whisky from Armorik we tried was Armorik Double Maturation. This whisky is 7 years old – matured in Breton oak for 5 years and finished in sherry casks for 2 more years. It’s available for purchase at France, distillery website and soon will be available in UK via Gordon and Macphail.
The second whisky is the oldest french single malt whisky ever commercialized, matured in Bourbon cask for 4 years then in Oloroso cask for 7 years (for the 2013 edition). The 2012 edition is available for purchase in France and very soon will be available via UK online retailers. The 2013 edition will also be available soon so keep checking!
(Update: the 2013 edition is now available for purchase at LMDW at this link)
Armorik Double Maturation (OB, 46%, buy for €45 here)
Nose: Malt/Cereal, sweet apples, sweet candies, raisins, gingerbread, warm and hot,
Palate: Grassy, apples, some herbal, ginger, spicyand sweet but a bit dry, warm. subtle oak. great one!
Finish: A bit on the short side of the stick, mellow and gentle, sweet apples, some vanilla and oak. after a bit while, quite strong white pepper notes are developed and brings the heat.
Armorik Millésime 2002 (OB, 56.3%, buy the 2013 edition for €83 here, 2012 edition for €70.55 here or £74.95 here)
Nose: Hot burn, again old sherry impact, raisins, red fruits, sweet oranges. After 3-4 minutes getting the same peppery heat (while in the Double Maturation got it only on the finish), some floral notes and some grass and greenery (unripe fruits), pineapples
Palate: Hot and spicy, sweet ginger, oak, going down the throat with a bang and throwing around white pepper – big heat!
Finish: Medium short finish. Similar to the palate – delivers hot and spicy mix of flavors. Yum!
Conclusion: I loved both of those whiskies, but the Millésime is on another level – complex, very fresh, balanced and is more interesting and has more kick to it then the Double Maturation one. It was quite a revelation and I highly recommend you to fetch a bottle – the price is very reasonable and it’s a cracking whisky. Slainte!