So we all know that Cognac is famous for, well – cognac – and it’s pretty widely known that the region also produces some other spirits as well. Grey Goose and Ciroc Vodka and G’Vine Gin are some examples that might spring immediately to mind. But so far, up until now that is, a whisky has been missing from the mix.
Of course, one advantage of whisky is that, unlike cognac, it has no geographical boundaries. It can be produced anywhere and still called whisky (with the exception of Scotch that has to be distilled in Scotland – although the grains can actually come from anywhere). So, when Jean-Marc Daucourt decided that it was time that the South West of France had a whisky to call its own, he at least had no such constraints upon him from that direction. Although he did, of course, have the not so small challenge of creating a great whisky.
Not that this master distiller is one without previous form – as he already has proven successful with his Jean-Marc XO Vodka. And now he’s ready to introduce his latest product to the world – Bastille 1789 Whisky.
Vive La Revolution: French Whisky
Mr Daucourt studied distillation in that mecca of whisky regions, Scotland, and he’s combined this knowledge with a distinctly French twist to create his new masterpiece. He won’t let slip all of his secrets, but Bastille 1789 Whisky is produced using Gensac spring water from Grande Champagne, and barley and wheat grown in the North West of France (the same area that provides much of the whisky produced in Scotland with its raw materials). The distilling of the grains is carried out in alembic stills – exactly the same kind as are used for distilling grapes for cognac. The whisky is then aged in wooden casks of Limousin oak, cherry and acacia.
The finished Bastille Whisky 1789 is a gentle blend – fruity, smooth and without the bite or graininess of many.
It’s already been launched in a few selected USA locations – such as Washington D.C. Connecticut, Illinois and Florida. The rest of the world has to wait until May this year for the official rollout.