Origin: Lorraine (France)
Type: Single Malt French Whisky
Ageing casks: Ex-Sherry
Added colouring: No
Owner: Distillerie Grallet-Dupic
Average price: € 40.00
Official website: whiskyrozelieures.com
After trying the peated version, we return to the agricultural distillery in Lorraine, France, with what was their first whisky, released in 2007.
Bottled at the minimum alcohol content but without any alterations, it has no age declaration (although there are indications of four years) and is matured entirely in ex-Sherry casks… with some sources also claiming ex-Cognac casks: it’s always a hoot to search for information on the internet!
Be that as it may, what matters is the whisky, and that’s what we’re talking about here.
The nose is like a fruit plum cake, a mixture of malt, candied pear and citron, dried apricots, nuts, a touch of clove and a rather intense vein of peat tending to tar. A mineral note also emerges in the background, barely hinted at. A mixture sounding perhaps not very inviting, but it works.
More exuberant than you might have expected on the palate, given the alcohol content, with a lively charge of spice that leads towards lots of candied fruit, almonds, walnuts, a drop of honey, in an oily, savoury mixture. The peaty part ends distinctly at the bottom, a bit like the burnt crust of the plum cake. Along the length, the fruit tends to fade in favour of more vegetal and mineral notes, and generally loses a little richness and depth.
The finish is quite long and dry, with smoke, vegetal notes, spicy touches and nuts.
The initial impact is very positive, an unusual peat with character, but it doesn’t hold up over the long term, yielding to the minimal alcohol content that flattens its aspirations. Given the popular price, it’s still an excellent introduction to the distillery and what it is capable of.