Vita Dulcis 8 – France’s Bellevoye Peat 43%

This is my first introduction to Bellevoye from France, thanks to my purchase of the Vita Dulcis 2020 International Advent Calendar.

As the label only identified this as “tourbée” (peaty), I reached out to find out more. Steven Baily Gibson from Les Bienheureux kindly helped confirm that the “tourbee” edition is “Noir”. More on that after my tasting…

France – Bellevoye Tourbee 43%

  • Colour – Golden hay
  • Nose – Sour cherries, almost liquor like, sweet spices of cloves, all spice and most of all cinnamon
  • Palate – Surprisingly smooth, a delightful and pronounced cinnamon, spiced apple crumble, fruity
  • Finish – More cinnamon spice, quite fruity

Overall this was a cinnamon candy – with peat! A promising start and after looking at their other profiles, would be interested in exploring further.

So what more do we know about Black? It is a blend of three ‘peaty’ Single Malt whiskies from Lorraine, Alsace, Nord, aged for 5-10 years in French Oak casks and then a secondary maturation – nine to 12 months post-blend – in French new oak casks particularly prepared and selected for this whisky.

The peat levels are not intense – around 45 p.p.m – and the distilleries are also not disclosed. My guess would be for Lorraine – Rozelieures – which is certainly putting out directly and indirectly some whiskies well worth exploring further.

As for Alsace? I couldn’t say for sure – so far we’ve only sampled one AWA Pinot Noir which wouldn’t be a good indicator for the profile in this Bellevoye expression. There is also Lehman’s, Meyer’s, plus an assortment of others.

And North? It all depends on whether “North” in this context also includes Bretagne with Werenghem and Glann ar Mor

Which ever the distillery, the plan seems to be to continue to work with three, crafting two batches per year, blending together with an aim to achieve a profile of:

“Complexity, fullness, balance and length.”

And what do the folks at Bellevoye share in their official tasting notes?

  • The intense nose reveals empyreumatic notes that evoke both ashes, toast and moka. Subtle touches of spices (cinnamon, nail clove) and liquorice reinforce its complexity.​
  • The mouth is thick, mellow and oily. Its salinity gives it a fresh and harmonious balance. Its structure is coated thanks to its elegant tannins.
  • The finish is long and persistent on aromas peat characteristics.​

It is available in Germany for EUR 48 – 59, depending on distributor. For my part, I was happy to have a chance to have this included in my miniatures explorations.

Curious about other encounters with French whisky?

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