Viva la France! From the distillery that has been making spirits and liqueurs since 1900 and that produced the very first ever French Single Malt Whisky comes this months magnifique whisky – the Armorik Sherry Cask from Warenghem Distillery. Nothing less than an Oloroso cask aged French single malt whisky from France’s northwesternmost region, Brittany.
The Armorik Sherry Cask is aged in Oloroso sherry casks bringing together the richness of the Breton and Spanish terroirs. Its characterised by notes of spice and candied fruit, enhancing the traditional fruitiness that Armorik is renowned for.
We love ‘new world’ whiskies here at The Single Malt Whisky Club and we were the first to ever offer an Armorik release back in 2015. But is the Armorik Sherry Cask an ‘old world’ or a ‘new world’ whisky? Obviously, we all know France as an ‘old world’ country – but then in all its history (until very recently) one has never associated ‘La Gaul’ with the wonders of single malt whisky. Champagne, yes. Bourdeaux – oui!. Burgundy, Pinot Noir, and (of course) Chardonnay – pourquoi bien sûr! But single malt whisky? NON!
So is it a new or old world whisky? Well, after much deliberation, Brent and I decided that we’d leave the verdict until we’d managed to argue about it a few more times over some drams!
OUR TASTING NOTES
Nose: An elegant and complex nose featuring all your sherry favourites – sweet fruit, lovely floral notes, buttered toast and a slug of vanilla and spice, all rounded off with a faint choc-orange note.
Palate: Lovely and rich, not particularly oily, but does coat the mouth nicely. Big red fruits (as expected), a creamy flavour (egg-nog?) with slight pepperyness and a hint of leather.
Finish: Mild spice around the back of the mouth and fruit to boot as well. Yes, vanilla and there’s that Jaffa note again. Yum!
PRICE : $149
ABV : 46%
BOTTLE : 700ml
REGION : FRANCE
PEATED : NO
CHILL FILTERED: NO
FROM THE DISTILLERY
Nose: Intense, very fine and elegant, subtly influenced by the sherry. The delicacy of vanilla and citrus is revealed with a touch of mint and dried fruit.
Palate: Nicely balanced and well rounded, with notes of crème brûlée, plums and roasted almonds.
Finish: Light vanilla aroma, warm from the sherry, spicy.
ABOUT THE DISTILLERY
Founded by Leon Warenghem, the Warenghem Distillery has been making spirits and liqueurs in Brittany since 1900, winning their first award for their ‘Elixir d’Armorique’ only a year later. From such illustrous beginnings, the Warenghem has gone on to receive many awards for their fine spirits over the years, with their ‘Elixir’ still produced today! There are certainly not many products around that can claim to be over 120 years in production!
By 1967, the demand for Warengham spirits was high enough that an expansion was required to meet demand. So, in 1974, a whole new distillery was built – this time on the outskirts of Lannion – right by a spring named ‘Rest Avel which means “dwelling of the wind”.
In the early 80s, Gilles Leizour (son of the owner of the time), a trained pharmacist, succeeds his father at the helm of the distillery. Eager to revive the distillery, he decides to focus the company’s activities on regional products. Always searching for improvements and stability for the distillery, Gilles Leizour decides to take a daring gamble: to launch the first 100% Breton – and French – whisky. IN 1987, the fruit of Gilles’ labours was finally ready and the first WB Breton whisky was ready to hit the shelves. This whisky was a blend of 25% malt and 75% grain whisky.
The reaction to the WB Breton Whisky was so positive that after spending a few years refining their techniques and gaining experience, they were ready to enter the whisky ‘big league’. In 1993, construction began on a whole new distillery – focussed specifically on whisky. A pair of copper pot stills inspired by Scottish distilleries were produced – and immediately the new focus of the brand was apparent. The first French single malt whisky was on it’s way.
1998 sees the launch of the ‘Armorik’ brand of single malt whisky. The first ever French single malt whisky had arrived. A few years spent refining and improving their craft sees them go from strength to strength and in 2013 the hard work was recognised by a win for ‘Best European Single Malt’ at the world whisky awards.
More awards come in the following years which raises the profile of Armorik internationally, allowing them to spread their brand to wider markets. In 2015 Armorik arrived in Australia – and of course The Single Malt Whisky Club was straight on to it, becoming one of the first to offer this new brand in Australia with the 2015 release of the Armorik Classic and the 2017 release of the Armorik Double Maturation.
By admin|2021-07-14T00:35:20+10:00March 10th, 2021|Past Single Malts|Comments Off on Armorik Sherry Cask – March 2021