Having trouble with the name? Trust me, so am I, and I’m bilingual.
When we hear French and Whisky, most of us don’t rush out to try it. We typically think of Scotland. Or Ireland. Or the US. Or Canada, if we’re being generous. Or India, Australia, or Japan, if we’re whisky nerds.
But not France. However half of France did take over England a thousand years ago (ish). And with them they brought and traded secrets and ideas. So why is it so crazy?
Probably, like their wine, they are keeping the good stuff. And who wouldn’t? Or maybe it’s because there’s only a few distilleries. Like Glann ar Mor, in Breton.
Just to say this up front: I know the people of Breton think of themselves separate from France. Unfortunately I try to follow old style map borders that no longer matter. Sorry. You can say I’m part of the US again, and we’ll be even.
Anyway, Glann ar Mor has a peated expression: Kornog Taouarc’h Seizved 14 BC. That’s Gaelic I think for “Confusing you silly English person”. And this is fairly new. They launched it in 2014. This is the 7th edition of their peated offering, which was made using traditional Celtic methods. I won’t get into them, there’s a lot.
What I will say is they aged it in ex-bourbon barrels, by the Atlantic ocean. That may seem like a gimmick, however it’s a costly one, as the Angel Share is increased when this is done. They also don’t chill filter or add colouring.
Geez, I’m already impressed. Let’s see if all that hard work and tradition made a tasty dram, shall we?
Price: N/A at the LCBO
Colour: 5Y 9/4
Nose: Smoke, lemon zest, eucalyptus, mint, almond, caramel
Really interesting. I was expecting the smoke, as I knew this was peated when I bought it, however the other notes are really different and unique. It’s almost like a mentholated taste/combination. Very nice.
Taste: Caramel, peat, cocoa, cantaloupe, lemon, macadamia nut, coconut
A bit light on the mouthfeel for me, however it’s still quite nice. Reminds me of a peated Highland, as the peat isn’t super high. Think more Ardmore than Ardbeg.
Kinda tropical tasting too. Almost too much like Parrot Bay rum, yet still nice to sip.
Finish: Mint, lemon, pepper, floral, peanuts, peat, chocolate
Big herbal burn at the end. And herbal. Lots of herbal notes. Almost too much, like Creme de Menthe in a drink, or Jager finish. Doesn’t fit at all.
Conclusion: I ragged on the finish a little bit more than I should have. It’s not that bad after a bit. Just surprising, is all.
This dram is unique. And tasty. Better than some peated Speysides or Highlands I’ve had. All in all, worth picking up. I look forward to trying more from this distillery.
World Whisky review #89, France review #4, Whisky network review #467