Whisky review – Armorik French Double Maturation Single Malt

The Warengham distillery was established in 1900 by the eponymous family. Using the same copper alembic stills they use today, the family made their name as distillers of complicated herbal liqueurs -most famously Elixir d’Armorique. They maintained a high level of continued success in this field until Gilles Leizour (a trained chemist) took over from his father in 1984, and began a very successful diversification. Whisky distillation began in earnest from 1987.

Currently they are a small but growing distillery, with only 14 permanent staff.

A very interesting and insightful interview with the current manager of Warenhem Distillery can be found in the interview with David Roussier.

As the seasons roll around, one of the most exciting times for me is the arrival of the latest season’s bottle from the The No1 Whisky Club. Hymie brings a personal touch in his role as Whisky Concierge has never failed to produce top shelf whiskies of all varieties. Check it out here!

I had never tried French Whisky before, so I was intrigued. The presentation of the bottle was nice, in a conservative dark blue box. Given the spelling (Whisky without the ‘e’) and the use of those magical words – Single Malt – I was expecting a savoury barley based spirit much in the mould of Scotch.

Armorik Double Maturation Box & Bottle
Armorik Double Maturation Box & Bottle

Out of the bottle the spirit itself is a light amber, with a suggestive lack of clarity denoting a non-chill filtered spirit.

Armorik Double Maturation Bottle & Glass
Armorik Double Maturation Bottle & Glass

Nose – taking a few small sniffs to begin the first thing I identify is a bit creamy, with a hint of spices and slightly burned caramel. A deeper whiff adds the telltale nasal tingle of a relatively high proof whisky.

Palate – Initial mouthfeel is quite soft and velvety – oily on the tongue. It quite belies the strong alcohol tingle in my nostrils with a surprisingly refined experience. A notable surprise is the complexity of flavours – the initial bite giving way to caramel, brine, stone fruits and spices. As the palate recedes a light tingle reminds me gently of the 46% ABV.

Finish – Burned caramel, and hints of brine. Lovely lingering charred oak flavours.

In summation, Armorik Double Maturation is a lovely savoury complicated by deep fruity notes with the hint of cream and spice. Every sip seemed to open up further flavour experiences. At $135 from Nicks, it represents fantastic value. My advice – buy now before demand pushes that price skyward!

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James

Easing into my mid 30's, writing just crept up on me. I had to put something out there - no matter what. So here we are! I live in Canberra, Australia and work in statistical IT systems development and support and am a proud father of two

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