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Michel Couvreur "Pale Single Single" Single Cask Whisky
Michel Couvreur Whiskies began with a Belgium man making Scotch Whisky in the heart of Burgundy – quite the combination! Michel Couvreur was a passionate perfectionist when it came to Scotch Whisky, so its no surprise that his handcrafted whiskies are recognized as the epitome of excellence, despite the challenges created by the general automation of production. In 1988, the Danish media called him "The Last of the Mohicans”, as he was indeed one of the last of the artisanal producers of Scotch Whisky in the world.
The world lost an incredible talent when Michel passed away in August 2013, but we are fortunate that he shared many of his secrets with his apprentices, long-time employee and confident, Jean-Arnaud Frantzen, and his son-in-law, Cyril Deschamps. Jean Arnaud and Cyril are committed to continuing the tradition, work and the life of Michel Couvreur.
Couvreur whiskies mature in rate sherry casks (Pedro Ximenez and/or Palomino), in a cellar that Couvreur dug himself, in the hillsides of Bouze-les-Beaune. The barrels are what makes Couvreur whiskies so special – much time, effort and money goes into searching for and selecting the most unique barrels, with the most attention on what was previously in the barrel and for how long.
The large and humid cellar leads to a 500-foot tunnel with galleries full of natural springs, surrounded by rows of barrels. The barrels have been impregnated for decades by the powerful and voluptuous Jerez (Sherry), and here the germinated barley (or malted barley) mixed with water brought from Scotland slowly becomes whisky. A small room far from any light called "the paradise" shelters some rare, old and elegant nectar, carefully kept in sealed demijohns. Michel Couvreur used to import single malt scotch whisky in bulk (in original barrels), pursue maturation in his cellar and label the product as a Scotch. Since 2007, things have changed. They import the new make spirit - the spirit from the still without any Whisky dénomination (Whisky requires to be matured a minimum of 3 years in less than 700 liter-wood barrels). They can import in bulk a Single Malt Scottish cereal spirit, but not a Single Malt Scotch whisky. The product can no longer be labelled as Scotch. Even if it is distilled in Scotland, the fact that the whisky is matured in France makes it a French product.
About Pale Single Single:
This was distilled in 2003 and aged for 12 years. Its original strength of 70% went to 56% as its natural strength in cask. It is bottled at 45%. It was aged in primarily Fino cask, 3 years in the very humid cellars of Couvreur.
Pale gold color with aromas of flowers (lavender, heather), honey, malty, delicately fruity (peaches, apricots, pears, citrus), with background spice (especially mint.) Nervous, fruity and slightly iodised, but free from wood-astrengency. Subtle and long in the mouth. Timid, it needs time to open - its delicate elegance has to be relished. The palate starts slightly sweet, finishing pleasantly dry and subtly spicy. Nice balance and quite mature for a twelve year old, with a nice array of flavors too.
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