Sacre’ Bleu! A Whisky from France? Yep … and it is a mighty fine drinker to boot. C’est la Vie!
Jean-Marc Daucourt was born in northern France. His father’s family had been in the distilling business there for years, but Jean-Marc wanted a more diverse education on the subject, so when he came of age, he went to Scotland and Germany to work his apprenticeship in Europe’s finest distilleries. Returning to France, now a master distiller, he acquired and old distilling house near the Cognac appellation and set himself to work.
Like any craft, focus is key, and so far Jean-Marc has focused on making one product, and making is very, very well.
Bastille 1789 Handcrafted French Whisky is all about making a great spirit. They start with a combination of malted barley and wheat for the mash. It is distilled in classic, old-world, copper alembic stills—the same kind traditionally used for cognac and that look like they were plucked out of a medieval alchemist’s workshop. Aging takes between five and seven years in three kinds of casks: French Limousin oak, cherry wood, and acacia. This is a very unique combo for a Whisky of any stripe.
All of that hard work yields up a very complex, yet harmonious Whisky that is is just c’est magnifique! It is lush with a chewy/honey/toffee and spice flavor that will rock your next Manhattan cocktail. But do yourself a favor and try it neat, in a snifter.
1789 was the year of the French Revolution, and The Bastille was an infamous prison where, in addition to actual criminals, the corrupt and indulgent French monarchy had imprisoned its political enemies. The French Revolution began with the “storming of The Bastille” as protesters threw open the gates of the prison to release the captives held there. So, the name “Bastille 1789 Whisky” is a statement of rebellion and national pride at the same time.