It is no surprise that Paris Whisky Live has quite an extensive section devoted purely to French whisky!
In a few cases, the lines are a bit blurred – Scottish spirits matured in French barrels. So what is the story with Nationale 10? Jean Boyer started in 1965 as an importer of Scotch whisky into France. After 20+ years importing, he then decided to turn his hand to independent bottling – first with Scottish whisky and then also with French whisky. In the meantime, the company ownership changed hands in 2015 to Dominique Ribereau-Gayon.
As for the name “Nationale 10” – what is the story there? It is linked to where Jean Boyer settled – in the Landes forest on the edge of National Road 10 in Saint Geours de Maremne.
We started with the “French Oak” from Rozelieures distillery.
Nationale 10 Chênes de France 43% (approx Eur 52)
- Colour – Bright copper
- Nose – Fresh, easy aromas, fruity – particularly fresh plums, some cereals, yogurt, comes across as young and vibrant
- Palate – As promised on the nose – quite easy to drink… starts soft then becomes spicier, still has that sweetness of honey and light fruits
- Finish – A hint of bitter
It reminded me a bit of breakfast muesli – cereals, fruits, and yogurt. Which meant it was a perfect way to kick off our 1st stop of a day of whisky tasting!
As for the next one? We moved on to the peaty expression, I believe also from Rozelieures.
Nationale 10 Tourbé 43% (approx Eur 56)
- Colour – Straw gold
- Nose – Lightly peated like a puff of smoke, mineral
- Palate – Clean, sharp, vegetal
- Finish – Light spice
Curious as I was somehow expecting more sweet fruits and peat based on the Chênes de France than veering into mineral and vegetal elements. However, it worked. When I read up more after tasting, learned that it is peated to 30 – 35 ppm, so it is certainly a more subtle approach than some peat monsters!
Both were a good way to start off our day of whisky-tasting adventures!
If you are interested in learning more about Nationale 10, check out their website.
Curious about more French Whisky tasting experiences? Check out some adventures:
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