Lucky day number thirteen is here on the KWM Whisky Calendar. What is behind today’s door? Another whisky, and another country. Don your black turtlenecks and get ready to battle over the national pension plan, because this time we are heading to France with the Armorik Single Malt!
Armorik Whisky is made by Warenghem Distillery of Brittany. Brittany is a region in Northwestern France. The region is a peninsula, surrounded by saltwater on three sides in the form of The Bay of Biscay, The Celtic Sea, and The English Channel.
Though it is part of France, Brittany counts itself as one of the six Celtic Nations as defined by the Celtic League. The other five nations are Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall and the Isle of Man. Culturally, Brittany has such strong Celtic ties due to the migration of many large groups of Bretons between 450 and 600 AD. Much of this migration was a method to escape the Anglo-Saxon invasion of England. The Breton language is still spoken by a small minority of people in the Brittany region to this day.
The Warenghem distillery was founded in 1900 but did not start by making whisky. In the late 1960s, the distillery was moved from its original location in the centre of Lannion to the outskirts of the city. Original whisky production begun in the 1970s and releases of this 1/4 malt and 3/4 grain blend called WB – or Whisky Breton – started in 1987. It was the first whisky produced in the region.
Single malt production did not start until later. Armorik is the name of Warenghem Distillery’s Single Malt Whisky and it was released for the first time in 1988. It was the first-ever French Single Malt whisky to hit the market. Warenghem Distillery calls their single malt whisky Armorik, and production of it emulates the Scottish style using small pot stills and double distillation.
Armorik bottles multiple Single Malt Whisky releases, though not everything they produce is available in Canada. Bot the the Armorik Classic Single Malt and the Armorik Sherry Edition can be ordered currently, along with the full-sized version of what we will be tasting today: The Armorik Double Maturation. Shall see what it is all about?
From Warenghem Distillery in Brittany, France. This Single Malt Armorik is aged for seven years total. The first portion ageing takes place in new casks made from French Oak from the area of Brittany designed specifically for Warenghem Distillery itself. For the second period of ageing, the whisky is transferred to ex-Oloroso Sherry Casks. The final product is bottled at 46% ABV non-chill filtered.
Evan’s Tasting Note
Nose: Spicy oak, like taking a chisel or hand plane to a cedar plank, lemongrass, apple cider, mulling spices, pear slices, cinnamon hearts, vanilla, chamomile tea, hay, and malted barley or Weetabix notes.
Palate: A dash of salt and coastal influence joins in with the spice and fruit notes. lemon zest, salted caramel, pretzels, oatmeal with apples and cinnamon, apricot slices, and a dash of black pepper.
Finish: Salt, cinnamon stick and black pepper spice notes on the fade, with the salt making your mouth water.
Comment: It is young, but very well put together with no real off notes. The coastal hit on the palate without any noticeable peat influence is a nice touch. It is softer in style, but still worth trying out if you are a fan of Macduff or Old Pulteney.
Friday the thirteenth brought us to France – where will we go for the fourteenth? See you Saturday.
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*The Kensington Wine Market Whisky Advent Calendar is produced under license from Secret Spirits, Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar™