Paris Whisky Live 2022 – Armorik

An obvious focus at Paris Whisky Live are the whiskies produced, “published” or put together (bottled) in France. On our 2nd day, we decided to begin with a visit to Breton – checking out the latest new offerings from Warenghem distillery which bottles their whisky under the Armorik brand. Being familiar with their original core expressions, we chose to try their two age statements and new limited edition “innovations”.

Armorik 10 year (2022) 46% 3000 bottles. Approx Eur 63

  • Nose – Fruity (think peach cobbler), maritime, and mineral… perhaps a bit nutty and sherry too?
  • Palate – Lightly smoky, marmalade 
  • Finish – Soft and lingers, at first honey-sweet, then a bit more of that maritime quality with a touch of cracked black pepper

Though only 10 ppm, there was no doubt of the peat influence here. It is a blend of ex-bourbon and Oloroso sherry casks and was the 1st of their limited edition “aged” expressions.  If you are curious to know more check out what do the good folks at Armorik have to say about this limited-edition expression here.



Armorik 15 year (2022) 46% 2nd edition 730 bottles. Approx Eur 70

  • Nose – Shy at first, then opens up, fruity, old wood, sweet
  • Palate – Honey sweet, well-rounded, full and fruity, sweet spices
  • Finish – Warm honey, a hint of smoke?

What more do we know? This 15-year-old began in ex-bourbon casks for 9 years followed by 6 years in Sherry Oloroso casks. This is their 2nd edition of this vintage expression. It also is lightly peaty to 10 ppm, though hardly showed this element in my quick sniff and swish!

What more do we know? Here are the official notes:

“Armorik 15 years old has acquired with age a sort of elegant, aromatic fullness, while retaining the fruity freshness characteristic of our distillate.”


We then transitioned into two new expressions from Armorik under the label “Yeun Elez” for their peat innovations with various casks. We were directed to try the Joric Tourbe (peaty) whisky first then moved on to the cask strength single cask one. 

Armorik Yeun Elez Jobic 46% approx Eur 63

  • Colour – Very pale
  • Nose – Light, fresh, fruity, sour cream
  • Palate – Surprisingly soft and gentle, then the smoke starts to subtly grow, like the nose it is also quite “fresh”, with a hint of mosambi (sweet lime) and the tiniest pinch of salt 
  • Finish – Continues in the same vein as the palate gradually tapering away

What more do we know? They use Scottish 50 ppm peated malted barley. It is also worth noting the very light colour – our guide shared how this whisky was 1st matured for 4 years in what she described as an “almost over-used” ex-Bourbon cask before being transferred to a Pineau des Charentes cask – I jotted “2” but missed noting if that was years or months! (I suspect its years).

What I do remember clearly is her pairing suggestion – Oysters! – which I could completely see fitting together rather well with its very subtle peat and saline with soft sweetness too. 


Armorik Yeun Elez 5 year Single Cask 8289 (Oct 2016/Jun 2022) 58.7% 666 bottles

  • Nose – Clearly maritime in character! Seaweed, quite a few “mineral” aromas, as it start to open up became increasingly fruity, shifting from medicinal to cream puffs and peaches, then became a bit deeper with some woodsy elements
  • Palate – Quite “sharp” initially – the 1st sip was almost jarring at cask strength after the gentle Jobic expression…. it then started to settle down to reveal sweet fruitiness (more peach than tropical) and that lovely sweet peat cinnamon we often find… the more we sipped the more amazingly sweeter and sweeter it was  
  • Finish – A nice cinnamon sweet close

We learned that this whisky was matured for an initial 3 years in a Bourbon Refill cask before being transferred to a Pineau des Charentes Cask from Rémi Landier cognac house for an additional 2 years. It was released just 2 weeks before Paris Whisky Live 2022!

This was quite an interesting whisky – one I wouldn’t mind returning to again to sample outside of the festival environment! Curious to learn more? Here is what they have to say.

And there you have it – a teasing taste of four newish expressions from the Warenghem distillery from Bretagne.

What about other Armorik experiences? Check out:

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Paris Whisky Live 2022 – Nationale 10

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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Paris Whisky Live – Exploring India’s Rampur Jugalbandi, Asava and Double Cask

We were first introduced to Rampur Single Malt in 2017 when we tried an early release of Rampur “Select” (06/2016) 43%. We found it quite promising and so I was delighted to see the folks from Rampur had a booth at Paris Whisky Live – and even better, they were releasing new expressions that weekend!

As this was a festival environment, I’ve only jotted down a few impressions – enough to get a ‘feel’ for the whisky but nothing that can be relied on as a proper sense of what each expression brings to the table.

In classical Indian music, a “jugalbandi” is a playful duet of two solo musicians – one plays and the other responds with a further variation – a kind of musical “one upmanship” that delights the audience with its flourishes and embellishes leading to a fabulous crescendo as both the instrumentalists combine their solos into a resounding duo finish!

We were delighted to discover that these Rampur “Jugalbandi” expressions were released just that Sept 2022 weekend of Paris Whisky Live – what fun!

Rampur Jugalbandi #1 56.1% (approx Eur 120) Red ie left in the above photo

Our whisky guide shared this whisky came from casks matured first in Bourbon, then in Portuguese Muscatel casks – a combination that, in this case, worked together rather well.

We found that it was intense, heavy, and tropical on the nose (particularly ripe mango!), whereas on the palate we found “gulab” (rose) syrup, coming across more like a dessert wine than whisky, then it shifted to spicier notes. We also tried this one with a small splash of water which we found opened it up nicely.

Rampur Jugalbandi #2 56.3% (approx Eur 120) Green ie left in the above photo

Then it was on to the 2nd in this “jugalbandi“. Again our guide shared that this whisky was the product of both 1st fill ex-bourbon and ex-Calvados casks from Normandy, France – interesting!

Much like the 1st, we found this was an un-whisky-like whisky! Our 1st impression of the aroma was that it was more like a liqueur, with simply loads of tropical fruit – in this case lychee was more prominent than mango! On the palate it was intense and a bit all over the place. Here is where we could first sense the Calvados influence with roasted apples and it closed with a dash of spice.

Our conclusion was this was a rather interesting duo – with a complete contrast between 1 and 2.

Rampur Asava 45% (approx Eur 75)

The next “duo” we sampled was Asava and Double Cask. With Asava, we were told it was matured in ex-Bourbon casks and then finished in Indian ex-Cabernet Sauvignon casks.

The nose rewarded us with luscious berries. The palate was soft with more juicy berries and then some tropical fruit notes. We found the finish was at 1st a citrus twist and then it returned to the berries.

Rampur Double Cask 45% (approx Eur 70)

By contrast, the Double Cask was much more balanced and for us, in some ways quite interesting. A “marriage” of American ex-Bourbon casks and European ex-Sherry casks, we found it the most accessible of the four whiskies sampled. The aroma had tropical fruits and honey, with sweetness and spice perfectly balanced on the palate with a nice long finish.

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Paris Whisky Live 2022 – Maison Benjamin Kuentz

We have been so lucky to have met with Benjamin Kuentz, in Paris, to sample some interesting creations from his careful approach to “publishing” French whiskies. So when I bumped into a collector from India at Paris Whisky Live on the first day as he was leaving, I knew just the place to take him as a “last taste” of the fest. 

Whilst I encouraged him to try the full range, I skipped over some familiar friends: (D’un) Verre printanier, Fin de partie and our favorite Aveux Gourmands.  Instead, I focused on two new whiskies intended to join their core range.

For both of these expressions, Benjamin selected whisky from the Charentes region and then matured it in a rather interesting combination with an ex-cask of Cognac, Italian Vermouth, and ginger brandy. And yet they are completely different in character! 

Maison Benjamin Kuentz Spicy Nouba (2022) 45% – Spicy, Fruity, Woody

  • Nose – Definitely woodsy, lightly peaty, and fruity
  • Palate – Fiesty young and fresh, quite a lively character
  • Finish – A bit bitter

I had fun with this one – it was indeed a bit spicy, or could also be described as “spunky!” An interesting start…

Here is what they have to say

ROUND OF FEVERISH SPICES AND RIPE FRUIT. A COLOUR, A TEMPO, THOSE OF SPICY NOUBA, A VELVET WHISKY, GENEROUS, RHYTHMIC.

Delicate, lively, smoky, fruity and slightly peaty at the same time, Latin at heart, oriental in body. Its nose is surprisingly lively. Woody green cereal notes, fleshed out with vanilla essence and candied orange peel. In the mouth, it is a long moment of suavidad. Soft and supple, a slow attack. Vanilla again, mixed with sensual spices, turmeric and sweet paprika, are shaken with a zest of bitterness. It is even more striking in the Old Fashioned version.

As for the next one?

Maison Benjamin Kuentz Végétal Musette (2022) 45% – Vegetal, Fresh, Fruity

  • Nose – Funky, fun, and really quite “vegetal”, malt, Agricole
  • Palate – Very interesting – mature orchard fruits
  • Finish – Honeyed with a touch of tartness and spice

Really quite unique – I’m not sure what exactly I was expecting. However, it was really quite compellingly interesting – I would have loved to settle down more with it rather than the scant “sniff” and “sip” that comes from festival tastings.

And what more do they have to say?

IT HAS THE FRESHNESS OF A GARDEN SHELTERED FROM THE SUMMER.

A festival of floral notes and cereal flavours makes Végétal Musette a whisky of wild youth and vivacity, free to flirt with a sparkling water. On the nose, a swing of malt flavours, wet grass, Granny Smith, crunchy pear and tropical vanilla. The palate, unctuous and light, gently abandons the spice and revives around eucalyptus, lemon and green pepper. Its finish concedes a touch of warmth, between honey and dried malt.

Would I agree? From my brief notes, quite possible! And up next? A shift to something with a bit of peat…

One of the new limited edition expressions, Benjamin selected whisky from the Lorrain region and aged it for six to seven years, including two years finishing in ex-Moscatel barrels.

Maison Benjamin Kuentz Tohu-Bohu Des Terres 56.2%Peaty, Generous, Powerful

  • Nose – A bit saline to start, quite mineral, fruity, has an effervescence to it with subtle peat 
  • Palate – Initially quite “hot” however on the 2nd sip, it settles beautifully, with a lovely mouthfeel, fab flavours of peat, and sweet
  • Finish – It continues with more peat and sweet

What a nice change of pace to a subtle peat with a bit of “oomph!” If I had more time with this dram, I would have tried it with just a few drops of water to see if it opens up to reveal other elements.  

After tasting, I guessed this must be from Rozellieures distillery which was quietly confirmed.

What more do we know? 

TOHU-BOHU DES TERRES ÉVOQUE DÉJÀ PAR SON NOM LES REMOUS QU’IL COMPTE GÉNÉRER DANS CE PRÉ CARRÉ ÉCOSSAIS QU’EST LE WHISKY TOURBÉ.

Depuis les terres accidentées, les sentiers escarpés, ou encore les tortueuses forêts, ce whisky rappelle les délicates odeurs de fumée, de mousse, du cuir de nos bottes neuves sans oublier la végétalité et la fraîcheur des sous-bois. Benjamin a souhaité réécrire à sa façon ce monument du whisky en alliant la puissance de la tourbe à l’élégance française dans une valse entre la fumée, les épices, les fruits et les végétaux. D’inspiration écossaise, mais définitivement français.

And their official tasting notes? Also only French, however thanks to Google translate, read on:

  • Nose – Fine elegant peat, delicate smoke, yellow fruits, dried apricot, currants, pastry aromas, a touch of iodine
  • Taste – Intense attack, notes of wet peat, undergrowth, smoke softened by a syrupy delicacy, and notes of candied fruit
  • Finish – Malty and fruity finish borrows from a delicate peat, notes of fig and dried dates, blending subtly with a minty peat

And with this, my 1st day at Paris Whisky Live came to a close. What fun to explore a few new developments from Maison Benjamin Kuentz. I’m quite excited to see how creations from this house will continue to evolve!

Curious about other explorations? Check out our experiences with Maison Benjamin Kuentz :

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Sweden’s Agitator’s early start

Sometimes the whisky fabric leads to special ‘sneak peaks’ into what is coming on the horizon. When The Box whisky became High Coast and more changes in the Swedish whisky industry happened, it lead to Nordic Whisky Capital… from which Håkan Jarskog became CEO of a new venture – Agitator – together with Distillery Manager  Oskar Bruno. Enter a fellow whisky aficionado from London / Bombay who just so happens to know these folks and a couple of early experiments made their way to us… to finally be opened one fine day in 2022.

Truthfully we just did a light touch exploration however it was enough to get a sense of something rather promising indeed!

Agitator’s 7 months (2018 – 9/27/2019) “Ny am ek” 46%

  • Nose – Custard apple, hay, citrus
  • Palate – Hint of heat, light spice, sweet
  • Finish – Hot

And what happens with a few more months in the barrel – throwing in some Sherry and Peat?

Agitator’s 11 months (2018 – 05/19/2019) “Sherry” 30 ppm 46%

  • Nose – Wow! Clear sherry stamp, a hint of iodine, milky caramel
  • Palate – Smooth, toffee, tobacco peat
  • Finish – Light

A rather good start! Way more going on than one would expect from maturing for under 1 year! I couldn’t wait to see how Agitator is with a couple years in a barrel!

Thankfully, I didn’t need to wait so long… in December 2022, we could experience how Agitor evolved with the bottles brought from Sweden by a lovely Whisky Lady for sampling during our Whisky Ladies of Mumbai session! We tried two core expressions: Single Malt 43% and Rök 43% plus a limited edition small batch expression Argument: Småfat 46%.

Curious to know more about their process and approach? Check out this informative feature in Distiller magazine.

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Sweden’s Agitator Single Malt Rök 43%

We closed our exploration of three expressions from a new Swedish distillery – Agitator – with the “smoky” one, anticipating it would overwhelm the other expressions. Turns out this had a much more subtle approach. Matured in a combination of ex-Islay and Chestnut casks, this smoky Agitator expression is worth checking out!

Agitator Single Malt Rök 43%

  • Nose – Smoked apples by the seaside, shifts into milk chocolate malt balls, light leather, fresh sea breeze, some herbal or vegetal elements… one lady described it as red cabbage and also found some bacon too!
  • Palate – Burnt sea wood, seawater, damp embers, walnut, dark chocolate, smooth and balanced, some vanilla custard in there too, followed by salt-water taffy
  • Finish – Nice walnut bitter then cinnamon candy, a hint of ginger

Overall this was yummy! This had the character of a friendly sailor… More of a ‘late night’ whisky with some “pep”! The more we sipped, the more it grew on us.

Interesting! We increasingly see the use of ex-Islay casks to add a gentle peat element. Whilst I couldn’t tell from the distillery information if they also used some peated barley, based on the character would suspect some (just don’t quote me on it!). Bottom line, there was a gentle “hand” at play – making this a balanced lightly smoked dram instead of a bold peat monster!

Here is what the folks at Agitator have to say (with the help of google translate from Swedish!):

In the aroma, a flattering smoky tone appears, which is accompanied by light herbalism and straw, as well as balanced fat notes. The taste, just like the smell, has a very balanced smokiness that lingers for a long time without becoming dominant. There are also notes of the vegetable found in the fragrance and a clear note of dried apricot. The finish has a certain saltiness, which probably comes from the fact that we used casks that had previously stored whiskey from Islay.

Pairing suggestion: Flavorful cheeses like blue mold, dark chocolate, oysters or smoked fish, such as salmon.

What an interesting trio! Our introduction to Agitator also included:

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Sweden’s Agitator Single Malt 43%

Like other European whisky distilleries, Agitator turns to chestnut wood to augment the standard oak. For their “core” expression simply called “Agitator Single Malt” they have aged their whisky in four casks: ex-bourbon casks, new American oak casks, ex-sherry casks, and chestnut casks. It makes for an interesting combination…

Agitator Single Malt 43%

  • Nose – Quite spirited at 1st, then mellowed to reveal crunchy green apples and pears, joined by tart pomegranate or mosambi (sweet lime), some fresh-cut wood, slight hint of dried fruits, however overall it was summery – fruity and sweet. We also caught teasing tastes of tropical fruits every once and a while as a contrast with the orchard fruits.  And all this before the 1st sip! After quaffing, we also found vanilla custard, red apple strudel, a hint of bitter cinnamon
  • Palate – So soft, delicious apple sauce, with some spice burn at the back, that shifts into white peppercorns, silky smooth on the palate, joyfully fruity, some salt water taffy
  • Finish – A bit bitter, and resinous, yet also soft and creamy, closing quite sweetly

We could describe this as a Swedish summer – frolicking in the sunshine-kissed fields. When we returned to revisit after an hour – it was like sipping sweet honey water!

We tasted this after the complex small cask/batch Småfat so obviously found their Single Malt less complex. That didn’t stop us from enjoying its sweet, easy-drinking, uncomplicated happy character. We thought this would be the perfect whisky to ease into an evening.

For my part, I couldn’t help but wonder what if it was bottled at 46%? I suspect it would be even more interesting. However, given Agitator cask at a much lower ABV – only 55% instead of the more common approach in Scotland of casking at 63.5% – it must be more challenging to reliably produce higher ABV expressions. Additionally, playing around with four casks, yet still quite young (above three years but likely not too much above that!), means that some of the casks could still be quite “active”, hence achieving the smooth amiable character at a higher strength could also be tricky.

Here is what the folks at Agitator have to say (with the help of google translate from Swedish!):

The aroma has a lovely and light note of fruitiness which is dominated by citrus, red apple and pineapple together with some dried fruit which primarily comes from the Sherry and Chestnut casks. The taste has some saltiness and a slight smoky undertone, which comes a lot from our choice of smokiness on the grain. This is well accompanied by a fruity element where you can also find some apple and citrus here. The finish has a note of sweet vanilla toffee, mostly from Bourbon casks and American oak, and it lingers pleasantly for a long time.

Pairing suggestion: Why not try it with an apple cake?

Our introduction to Agitator also included two other expressions. Now… if you were to also explore this trio together, there is no doubt you should start with this expression first! Then explore the smoky Rök before settling into Argument: Småfat. At least that would be our humble recommendation!

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Sweden’s Agitator Argument: Småfat 46%

Kicking off our evening exploring a trio from the new Swedish distillery Agitator was an interesting expression from their small batch and small cask series. In this case, it was a mix of whisky matured in three different quarter casks: ex-Islay to add a gentle smoke, ex-Sherry for a dash of Christmasy sweetness, and chestnut wood.

It was an impressive start – we immediately appreciate the different qualities the cask combination brought and how remarkably complex it was for a whisky that must be only around 3-4 years!

Agitator Argument: Småfat 46%

  • Nose – Is that Benedryl cough syrup? A bit musty then shifts into a lovely hazel nuttiness, some grain mash, switching to sweet marzipan, then tropical fruits, which was quite inviting and warming. After the 1st sip we detected some hints of leather, black licorice, and some cayenne that then shifted into crisp green capsicum
  • Palate – Love it! Velvet, leather, caramel, cinnamon (a bit like chewing “Big Red” bubblegum), bitter almond, very Christmasy with sherry influences – marmalade, dried fruits with sweet spices, warming and complex, full and fab!
  • Finish – At first we thought little of the finish, but by the 2nd sip, remarked on how it lingers, some black pepper, a hint of salt, a touch bitter, like chewing on meethi ladkri

Overall it was really rather interesting and contrasting – a delicious and shifting nose, so enjoyable on the palate – one to relax, sip and enjoy like a warm embrace, and a finish that sparked a debate.

So what was the discussion about? It was around the dimension described as मीठी लकड़ी (meethi ladkri) which translates into sweet wood – a stick that you can chew to freshen breath, help a sore throat, settle your stomach, and more. A bit more research and we burst out with laughter – it isn’t some exotic desi root – instead we were talking about licorice which is quite common in many parts of the world! However, it is true, chewing a stick differs from the processed licorice one normally finds.

One lady remarked how it reminded her a lot of Caperdonich. I quickly flipped through my whisky-tasting notes and read impressions from a recent experience at Paris Whisky Live from La Maison du Whisky – would absolutely agree! Especially the nutty character!

We rarely have such an enthusiastic reaction to the 1st whisky of the evening – which just goes to show how much we enjoyed this expression! For most, it was the favourite of the evening.

Here is what the folks at Agitator have to say (with the help of google translate from Swedish!):

Tasting Notes: 
  • Aroma: In the aroma you will find a nuanced smokiness with a clear barrel character, hints of vanilla, butterscotch, red apples, tropical fruit and dry leather.
  • Taste: The Islay casks contribute to the taste with distinct smoky tones and a fine-tuned saltiness. Sherry and chestnut casks contribute fruitiness of red apples, tropical fruit and a dry finish.
  • Finish: Light to medium-long finish with hints of some salty licorice.
Pairing suggestion: Blue cheese, chocolate, seafood, and snacks such as pistachios and almonds

Our introduction to Agitator also included::

Curious about more Swedish whiskies? Well…. you are in luck! We’ve had quite a few interesting explorations, so you can take your pick of:

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Sweden’s Agitator Trio – Single Malt, Rök, Argument: Småfat

Welcome to Sweden and say hello to a new distillery – Agitator! Thanks to the travels of a Swedish Whisky Lady, we had an opportunity to explore a trio from the latest “kid on the block”.

I’m still learning what makes this new entrant distinctive but a few things already caught my attention. Agitator do vacuum distillation – to give a gentler treatment to the raw materials and reduce energy consumption. They also have a casking strength of 55% ABV – which is much lower than the standard 63.5% ABV by Scottish distillers. And, much like some German distillers, they also use chestnut casks to augment traditional oak. You can read more about their approach here.

Our introduction to Agitator included::

What an interesting introduction to a very promising new entry into the world of whisky!

And what a lovely December evening in Mumbai – kicking off with the flavourful Swedish mulled wine, an impressive spread of snacks, it was a fabulous way to close another calendar year of tasting adventures with the Whisky Ladies!

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Paris Whisky Live 2022 – VIP Antipodes Chichibu Quartet

La Maison du Whisky’s VIP Antipodes at Paris Whisky Live 2022 featured a different kind of Artist approach with Japan’s Chichibu whisky and artist Aki Kurada – described as a prolific Japanese artist known for his murals, performances, stage designs, and work with renowned architects.

Curious, I knew it should be worth braving the crowd around this booth with its eye-catching labels and enticing drams…

I had intended to start with the Virgin Oak, however inadvertently we began with the heavily peated cask – oops!

Chichibu 6 year (2015) Heavily Peated 2nd Fill Bourbon Barrel #4660 63.9% (LMdW) 197 Bottles

The aroma was initially quite dessert-like – with vanilla, biscuits, and fruity…. then creeping up from behind came a bonfire. The palate had a very pronounced peat that tapered away into an ashy finish.

Chichibu 8 year (2013) Japanese Wine Cask #9664 61% (LMdW) 210 bottles

How interesting to try a whisky finished in a Japanese wine cask, though unspecified, it had a bit of character reminiscent of a merlot – pure speculation on my part!

Chichibu 8 year (2013) Virgin Oak Barrel #2856 61% (LMdW) 198 Bottles

You could really see the character of the virgin oak – the spice, oaky and rather intense on the palate, chased by a nice nutty element, and a resinous finish.

Chichibu 7 year (2014) Peated 2nd Fill Bourbon Barrel #3812 64.3% (LMdW) 187 Bottles

Much lighter peat than the heavily peated whisky at the start of our journey… also more balanced.

What an interesting zip through current offerings from Chichibu. Interested in learning more, after the event, I looked up what La Maison du Whisky has to say about the artist and whiskies:

It is no coincidence that this Japanese artist’s selfportraits have been chosen by La Maison du Whisky to adorn these exclusive versions of Chichibu matured in four different types of cask, one especially surprising cask having previously held a wine made from a Japanese grape variety. Like the different facets of a single persona, these four unique casks explore Chichibu’s knowhow and the very different temperaments of a single creative spirit. Produced with acrylic on canvas, the faces painted by Aki Kuroda recall the ancestral tradition of masks while at the same time affirming a very expressive modernity, in a style that verges on abstraction. They reflect an identity that is resolutely contemporary and yet nourished by tradition, much like Chichibu itself.

“My artworks are always the result of a meeting, a chance encounter, a detail that struck me or a face that inspired me… These self-portraits are in part reminiscences of the Minotaure magazine which I saw as a child in my father’s house, a Surrealist magazine published in Paris in the 1930s. I have been obsessed with the figure of the Minotaur ever since. Its features are mixed with mine. I don’t see anything monstrous in it. It’s simply a game for me to overlay them.

What an interesting approach….

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