Distillerie Warenghem gets a Norwegian importer
These are good times to be a fan of whisky. It seems the choice of product is increasing almost daily, and overall the quality is very good. You might have picked up on the fact that we are quite fond of so-called 'world whisky' (produced outside of Scotland) here at Whisky Saga HQ. This does not in any way diminish our love of the scotch whisky, it is just that we also greatly enjoy exploring new whisky from around the world. France is still a relatively unknown as a whisky producing country for most whisky drinkers, but there are already 22 whisky distillers in the country. Many might now have heard of either Glann ar Mor (with their self-titled unpeated whisky, and their peated Kornog), or Brenne Whisky which Allison Patel has made available in the US (we still haven't tried this). It was another company that started the French whisky story, however. Back in 1987 Distillerie Warenghem launched their first blend WB ("Whisky Breton"), and then in 1998 they launched the first French single malt, Armorik. The company was actually established back in 1900, and produce various spirits and beer in addition to whisky.
I first tried an Armorik single malt about ten years ago. It was then not something that appealed a lot to me, it was a rather bland 'supermarket whisky' that was lacking in character. Any distillery has the potential to create magic, a good friend has told me, and I tend to agree. I am therefore excited to revisit this distillery given the latest developments.
Over the past few years Warenghem have invested a lot in both production and improved quality of casks for maturation of their whisky. They have also expanded upon their core range of whisky products. In 2014 their production was up from 70 000 lpa to 100 000 lpa (liters of pure alcohol), and further increases are expected in 2015 onwards. About 30 % of this production is grain whisky for their blends, the rest is double distilled single malt.
The time has now come for us to enjoy the whisky from Distillerie Warenghem in Norway. Starting early 2015 the Norwegian importer Daracha will add these products to their portfolio. We expect to be presented with the first two or three products at the Bergen International Whisky & Beer Festival in February 2015. I am told we can expect at least these two products:
- Breizh Whisky, Blended Breton Whisky, 42 %
- A 50% grain, 50% malt whisky, double distilled in copper stills and then aged in traditional oak barrels.
- The age of this whisky is about four years or slightly higher.
- Was awarded Best European Blended Whisky at World Whiskies Awards (WWA) 2014.
- Armorik Double Maturation, Breton Single Malt Whisky, 46 %
- Matured first in French oak (from Brittany) casks made in partnership with a local cooper.
- Second maturation in sherry casks.
- The age of this whisky is around seven years.
Here's to a wonderful and malty 2015!
Sláinte! - Thomas