An overproof 'black label' entirely French whisky that has been partly matured in ex-grenache banyuls (port-style) casks by emerging producer Aymeric Roborel de Climens. Packaged in the limited edition wooden box.
Distilled in 2107, this was bottled after a finish in grenache casks in Mai 2020. The grenache casks were sourced from Domaine Coume del Mas, who produce both the famed fortified (and un-fortified wines) in Banyuls-sur-Mer. There are 550 bottles in this edition worldwide bottled at 55.5%.
This pours a beautiful pink-copper colour and is one of the more cask-driven expressions from the tender, textural house style.
Oak Barrel Tasting Notes:
Bit nose of tried fruit and rich wine-y notes, juicy red graps and then red jellybabies. It's luscious and inviting, sweet but not jarring. The palate is the same texturally, but the higher ABV brings through more classic 'whisky' notes of malt and that classic oily texture. Still big fruit and there's lots of layers before the good length finish comes through.
Going back through because we're sure we didn't decipher it all on first pass and there's lots of orchard fruits on the nose, the complexity not hidden by the sweetness. Even though this is a higher ABV, still not a whisky to rush as you'll miss the intricacy. The palate is oily and textural (as they all are), making this a really rewarding whisky experience.
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