Sequoia Organic Single Malt Tourbé
Because the French were not happy with just wine I guess.
Did you know that France is the second largest importer of whisky?
Right after the United States? In 2021 they imported for £394.5 million from the UK. That makes the French the largest importer of whisky in Europe. The French love whisky.
So why not make it themselves? Let's discuss the Sequoia organic single malt whisky, tourbé edition.
Again, thanks to family and friends who support my hobby, I'm able to try new things all the time. This time, special thanks goes out to my father, who decided to make a little detour to visit a distillery in France during his vacation. Thanks dad!
Under a 200 year old Sequoia tree in Parc Naturel Régional du Vecors, lies a distillery, aptly named 'Distillerie du Vecors'.
Now, I have not visited it myself, did not do the tour myself, but their website gives me some great background information.
First of all, they call their whisky "organic".
Reason for this, is that they use local organic barley and local spring water. And I find that awesome. It is something we see more often, think of what Bruichladdich is doing with their local barley range, and I love the fact that we see it more and more. (Should we start the "terroir" discussion?)
It gives us a different flavored whisky I guess and a great story for each distillery.
The second noteworthy detail, is that they use a stainless steel still for the first distillation. Not copper.
In this 50 hectoliter tank, the first distillation is done on a very low temperature (50°C versus the often used 78°C), because:
"In the kitchen, low-heat cooking preserves the taste of the food; we apply this to our whisky. Low temperature distilling enhances the flavours of malted barley, giving those rich and delicate aromas to our Single Malt Whisky."
The first distillation leaves them with a low wine with an alcohol percentage around the 25%. The second distillation is done in a copper still and the process does not differ from the production of Scottish whisky there.
Now I got to try the Sequoia Tourbé. If you know your French, you'll know that tourbé means peat. The fun part is: I get it, and at the same time, I didn't. But let's get back to that later.
This whisky is a peated single malt that has matured for 3 years. Old enough to be called a whisky, young enough to have this strong spirit flavor and fresh golden color.
The Whisky has this beautiful bright golden hue.
It is a non chill filtered whisky, that has it's natural coloring.
And this whisky won prices! First bottled in 2021, it won a silver medal at the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles in the same year. In 2022 this whisky won a silver medal for Best French Whisky at the World Whisky Awards.
I think that is quite an accomplishment for such a "young" participant!
But it is well deserved!
And now the important part: I got to taste it.
And I had to try it twice before I was sure on my notes. Why? Because of the word "tourbé". If I hear peated, I think of smoke. Truthfully not an assumption that is justified, because there are many whiskies that are peated but do not have a dominant smokey taste. More fruity. And thats what this magnificent tree did: It gave me a very fine, distinguished flavor.
On the eye: Beautiful color. Warm yet fresh golden. After a twirl in the glass, I got a thick line, that wrinkled instead of tears.
On the nose I got green grapes, apple, cookies, cane sugar, sugar floss and vanilla.
The taste: Spicy, apple, oak, pear, medicinal and spirit.
The Finish: Oak, hints of bitters (think tannines) and spirit. After that a small fruity hint of plums.
My score: 86
I would love to get a bottle of Sequoia again. It is an interesting distillery to follow and I cannot wait for the more older versions to be bottled. I would love to try this one in a 12 year old version, just to see what happens to this very delicate flavor if the stronger spirit notes get softer.
Curious about this distillery? Visit their website for the products and other information!