Commentist Whisk(e)y Barrel Review: The Armorik Classic.

Earlier this month I was in London and Paris for a quick getaway. One of the goals I had going over there was to sample anything and everything I can’t get my hands on in the US. As far as alcohol goes, I wanted to bring back scotch from the UK and wine from France. I succeeded in the scotch from the UK, however France was a little different.

Now when most people think of France, they usually think of wine from the Loire Valley or champagne from…Champagne. I learned in my travels that there is another region in France that specializes in crafting alcohol. Brittany, located in the northwest part of France, specializes in whisky production. France is very new to whisky distilling and production, with their first single malt commercially sold in 1998. With this new-found knowledge, I needed to get my hands on a bottle.

There was a specialty store called Le Maison du Whiskey only a short walk away. On my last day in Paris, I stopped in.

Valhalla

I found someone who worked there, explained what I was looking for, and asked if he had any recommendations. He pointed out a few in the Armorik line, and said he liked them all. Normally, I would look for something peaty and smoky. However, I already bought a peaty single malt scotch in London (the other bottle in the banner). Instead, I opted for the Armorik Classic.

The Armorik Classic is the base whisky that the Warenghem distillery produces. They have a wide range of other offerings, but since this was my first foray into French whisky, I felt it was better to start off with the main offering.

The whisky is aged in bourbon barrels for 7 years, then finished in sherry casks. You can definitely pick up the sherry when you smell it for the first time. After nosing it two or three more times, the sherry gives way to a softer toasted grain scent from the bourbon barrel, with some hints of hazelnut mixed in as well. The color of the whisky itself is a little lighter than I thought it would be for being aged in mainly bourbon barrels.

I chose to taste it neat, then with a few drops of water. The first neat sip is sweet, like dried fruit, that slowly mellows out. It finishes with a drawn out spice to it. Adding a couple drops of water makes the fruit taste come forward more, and takes the edge off of the spice a little bit, but it still lasts just as long with every sip.

This whisky doesn’t have the same body as a scotch, bourbon or rye. But that isn’t a bad thing in this case. This whisky was made on the coast, and I get the feeling that it is best enjoyed there as well. The lightness and the flavors would make this an ideal libation for the middle of the summer, where a fuller bodied whisky might be a little too much. This whisky was born to be sipped on a deck overlooking the water on a late July evening.

Well done France. The hard part is making sure the bottle lasts until the summer.

Sharkbait
Sharkbait
Sharkbait has not actually been bitten by a shark, but has told people in bars that he was for free drinks. Lives in Boston, married to a Giants fan, he enjoys whisk(e)y, cooking, the Rangers, and the Patriots.
Please Login to comment
9 Comment threads
18 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
12 Comment authors
BeerguyrobBrettFavresColonoscopySharkbaitrockingdogBrick Meathook Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
Notify of
rockingdog
rockingdog

yoooooo…..

Brick Meathook
Brick Meathook

I like single-malts mixed with Diet Coke and just a splash of Sprite, with a lemon wedge.

Beerguyrob

Alcohol trips are the best.

rockingdog
rockingdog

cool!

litre_cola

Nest with a few drops of water is the way to do it. I did the same thing as you in Oz and bought Sullivans Cove. It was good but wasn’t as heavy.

Game Time Decision

What kind of nest?
/asking for a friend.
// making a joke not a spelling correction

litre_cola

MY STUPID HANDS ARE TOO BIG FOR MY STUPID PHONE OK!

BrettFavresColonoscopy

Braggart

–Donald T., Washington

Beerguyrob

comment image

Uncle Jack respects your game.

SonOfSpam

Did you so any sightseeing in France? When we went over the summer, we went to Notre Dame; it turns out they frown upon tailgating there. Worst gameday experience ever.

(Also, the Tower of London has too many stairs 2/10)

nomonkeyfun

Rikki-Tikki-Deadly

Raise your hand if you’d have bet your entire kid’s college fund on (assuming you’d never heard of him before) Travis Scott being a whiter-then-white country musician.

[raises hand]

SonOfSpam

You should have known his skin color by the family of the skank in which his penis dwells.

BrettFavresColonoscopy

Mind if I ask the price point?

nomonkeyfun

I chose to taste it neat, then with a few drops of water. The first neat sip is sweet, like dried fruit, that slowly mellows out. It finishes with a drawn out spice to it. Adding a couple drops of water makes the fruit taste come forward more, and takes the edge off of the spice a little bit, but it still lasts just as long with every sip.

That’s nice Mr. Fancypants. My question is, will it get you in bourble?

comment image

BrettFavresColonoscopy

Doesn’t have a hand up his ass 2/10

ArmedandHammered
ArmedandHammered

He pays others to do that, otherwise how would he drink two-fisted?