France Rozelieures Whisky from 50 to 100 euros

Rozelieures Tourbé

Review of a peated malt from Lorraine

Origin: France
Type: Single Malt French Whisky
Strength: 46%ABV
Ageing casks: Ex-Bourbon and virgin
Chillfiltered: No
Added colouring: No
Owner: Distillerie Grallet-Dupic
Average price: € 60.00
Official website: whiskyrozelieures.com
Vote: 83/100

Growers of fruit trees and cereals since 1887, the Grallet family has also been dedicated to distillation for five generations, with the production of brandy and fruit-based spirits on their immense estate in Rozelieures in the Lorraine region.
With barley fields at their disposal and the latest generation, consisting of Sabine Grallet and her husband Christophe Dupic, being a Scotch whisky aficionado, the switch to grain distillation was almost inevitable, and so in 2002 their single malt label was born.
Whisky is certainly nothing new for our transalpine cousins, but at a time when there is much talk of terroir in the sector, Rozelieures takes the concept to the next level: not only local barley (20% of the whole country is grown in the area and in part exported to Scotland), but all the processing is carried out locally, including maturation in virgin casks whose wood also comes from their own property.
Double distillation, maturation in three different sites (including a late 19th century fort), firmly (and proudly) family-run, with practically total control over every single production step: a unique reality in the French panorama, and very rare in the global one.

There are only a few bottling lines produced, among which La Parcellaire was recently launched, i.e. whiskies from individual cultivations, made at the rate of two/three per year, with the aim in about seven years to cover the 18 different plots of land on the estate.
This time we taste the Tourbé, which as the name suggests is a peated whisky, whose peculiarity is its ageing in virgin casks made from wood from their own cultivations, for an unspecified total maturation time.

Tasting notes

On the nose, it’s immediately clear that we are dealing with something different from Scottish peats, where the smoke is a light, toasty signature suspended between wood and nuts (hazelnuts, pine nuts, pecans), which caresses soft tones of malt, William pear, Catalan cream, wafer, nutmeg and a few drops of lemon. Deep down, a fresh, vegetal vein appears. Pleasantly light.
Lightness that doesn’t rhyme with vacuity even on the palate, where a crisp mouthfeel of black pepper accompanies a more decisive and fuller smoke, leaning more towards burnt wood than toasted nuts, embracing bittersweet tones of pear, marzipan, malt, grapefruit and a touch of herbs (rosemary and dill). It has a nice texture, oily and thick, leading in length towards citrus and vegetal impressions with spicy touches in which the peat remains a docile but present companion.
The finish is quite long with vegetal notes veering towards the bitter and dry, with ash, nuts and pear.

Young but not immature, it well represents the distillery’s idea of peat, distant (but not too much) from the Scottish, with a pleasant drinkability without any giant leap, offering consistency and balance that other young malts at this strength fail to give. A few more years could give much more complexity.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: