An overproof, limited edition 'black label' entirely French whisky that has been partly matured in Cabernet Franc clay amphore by emerging producer Aymeric Roborel de Climens.
Distilled in 2016, this was bottled after a finish in cabernet franc amphore in September 2020. The cabernet franc clay vessels were sourced from du Domaine de Bellevue, an organic producer in the Loire Valley.
This is a unique finish for whisky, with the 150-litre clay amphore holding the spirit for 10 months.
There are 350 bottles in this edition worldwide bottled at 51%.
Even though we're at 51%, this is still showcasing the light, soft, textural spirit of Clemens. A beautiful aroma with a grounded, bold finish (that's still anything but "heavy").
Oak Barrel Tasting Notes:
This is a very pretty nose, fresh cut summer flowers with dried raspberry, sweet malt and musk sticks. The palate shows clean spice and rich malt, with the florals coming back on a dry finish crushed petals, fine ground pepper and the slightest hint of tannin. The lingering finish shows faint withs of menthol and soft licorice.
About Aymeric Roborel de Climens
Aymeric Roborel de Climens is originally from Bordeaux and spent 20 years working as an oenologist (oenology is the study of wine and winemaking). Working with a number of renowned wineries, his love of whisky led his to begin studying French spirits and their development throughout history. Taking lessons from history and applying them to a product which is distinctly modern, Roborel de Climens has created a whisky that is French from start to finish.
The spirit is sourced from the Hepp distillery, in Uberach, Alsace, a region is famed for its aromatic white wines and dairy products which has swapped between Germany and French ownership throughout the past 300 years. The region is one of France’s biggest barley producers, alongside Brittany, and Hepp source theirs from La Maison Souffle, a medium-sized house. Hepp use a 450 litre Alambic still from historic German stillmakes Carl.
The spirit is aged in a mixture of barrels by Roborel de Climens, some new French oak (often around 20%) and refill whisky casks from Hepp, before they are finished in a range of barrels he has sourced from around the country. The initial maturation takes between three and four years, traditionally, while the finishes are being decanted after five-to-six months.
The current range is very small, featuring small batch finishes in barrels which previously held wine like sauvignon blanc, Semillon, merlot and rose. He is also using ex-cognac casks distilled from the ugni blanc grape. The casks are hand-selected by Roborel de Climens and given his ties to the wine industry he's able to source incredibly fresh barrels - often they are empty for no longer than a week before being refilled with whisky.
These have first appeared in Australia in late 2020 in very small quantities, imported by a small French wine importer who fell in love with them in their pre-Covid 2020 visit.
- Single Malt