This is the un-peated expression of Glann ar Mor, bottled at 46% without chill filtering nor caramel colouring, aged in a Bourbon barrel which delivered 305 bottles.
This is a genuine Artisan Single Malt, deliberately made without any compromise to the best of the time proven manners inherited from the genuine Celtic tradition : 100% live flame, slow distillation, small stills, wooden washback, worm tubs, without forgetting the acid iron free water from the underground well, and naturally.... the seaside maturation under mild and Gulf Stream blessed latitudes.
The second bottling, still in limited volume yet in larger quantity, will be available in November 2009 at the same time as the first bottles of the peated expression of Glann ar Mor.
First tasting notes (to be soon updated) :
By Serge Valentin - "Malt Maniac" and journalist at "Whisky Magazine", creator of the website Whiskyfun.com :
This first official bottling ever of Britanny’s Glann ar Mor is out… And more or less sold out. We already tried some cask samples from both the unpeated and the peated version and both having being much to our liking, we’re more than happy to be able to taste this new baby. Now, to which other bottling should we oppose it ? Obviously not to another Glann ar Mor, as there isn’t any yet (the peated version should be out in November this year, watch it!) so let’s try this in solo for once, with just Glenmorangie 10 and Tyrconnel NAS as benchmarks on the side.
Glann ar Mor "Taol Esa 1än Gwech 08" (46%, OB, bourbon barrel, 305 bottles, 2008) Gee, we already had to learn Gaelic with the Scots, and now we have to learn Breton. So much for dwindling languages!
Colour : white wine.
Nose : sure it may be the extra-3% but this is clearly bigger and more aromatic than the Glenmo. And truth is that I really like this (and I really, really, really mean it, it’s not just because I’m French! ;-)) Starts on vanilla, as expected, but also on rather beautiful notes of resin varnish, with the fruits coming out after a few seconds. Fresh orange juice (quite a lot), fresh almonds, hints of grapefruits… But rather less pears and pineapples than expected, which means that this is already quite mature indeed. Quite some muesli too and distant whiffs of sea spray. Oh, and fresh almonds! It’s complex spirit that’s got a few similarities with the Tyrconnel (ah, youth!) but that truly destroyed the rather shy Glenmorangie.
Mouth : it’s powerful, fat and oily and one may recognise the small pot stills’ work here. It’s more or less the same sequences as on the nose, first oak and resins, then fruits (hints of bananas) with notes of cough syrup and plain eucalyptus, and finally more fruits (cider apples) with a little bubblegum and a slightly grassy ‘capsule’ around the whole. Really characterfull.
Finish : long, frankly grassier and waxier now, with more obvious signs of youth that should disappear after a few more years of maturing. After all, this is barely 3yo!
Comments : Brittany is a little hotter than Scotland (but just as ‘maritime and Atlantic’) so whiskies mature fairly quicker and this cask seems to have been very active, even if this 3yo is still a bit in the junior league. We aren’t very far from Scotland’s Northeastern coast here… and with style and panache! SGP:461 - 84 points.
Where to find Glann ar Mor and Kornog ?
Beside France, distribution is currently limited to Japan and to a few selected European countries :
RareAlcool LLC in Nagoya (1-57 Nishizaki-cho, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya - Tel & fax : 052 734 6500 and [email protected]).
Velier S.p.A. in Genova (www.velier.it and [email protected]).
United Kingdom :
*The Whisky Exchange in London (www.thewhiskyexchange.com and [email protected]).
* Royal Mile Whisky in Edimburgh and in London (www.royalmilewhisky.co.uk and [email protected]).
Van Wees Holland (www.whiskyworld.nl and [email protected]).
Whisky Time in Lutry (www.whisky-time.ch and [email protected]).
Alternatively, you may order from our webshop Tregorwhisky.com which is now operational in English language, understanding availability is usually very temporary. This situation will unfortunately last until we will get enough of the casks currently under maturation having reached the right age for being bottled.
Glann ar Mor, a distillery at the crossing of Celtic and Breton civilizations:
Glann ar Mor Distillery, which is situated on the Northern coast of Brittany, was built to enable Celtic Whisky Compagnie to offer whiskies from Breton origin to connoisseurs, in complement to these originating from Scotland and Ireland, offering thus a full range of authentic whiskies from Celtic origin.
The construction of this distillery which started its operation in June 2005 had been the conclusion of no less than nine years of research and preparation.
But, if one has to wait for a minimum of 3 years in order for the first distillation of malt spirit to become whisky, this did not prevent the distillery to release its first Breton Single Malt whisky at the beginning of the year 2005.
TAOL ESA, or "The Essay" in Breton language, distilled and filled in cask on 31 December 1999, was made available as a -very- limited edition of 99 bottles of 50 cl just before the actual start of Glann ar Mor distillery in June 2005. To discover it and to understand the how and why of this apparent paradox, all the information and pictures are available on the TAOL ESA 1999 page.
By its geographical settling, the distillery benefits logically from the double heritage of Celtic and French cultures and traditions, as far as production of spirits is concerned. If Celtic people are the unquestionable reference for the making of whisky, there exists in France a knowledge of great richness, as far as distillation and spirit maturation themselves are concerned (Cognac, Armagnac, Calvados...).
The ambition of Glann ar Mor is to gather the best assets of these two worlds, in view of offering a whisky with no compromise in its quality and its character : an authentic whisky in the Celtic tradition with a Breton heart.
For doing so, nothing was left to chance, starting with the first of all choices : that of the distillery's location. It had been done in view of criteria which will make it possible for the whisky to be matured in conditions which can be regarded as exceptionnal, due to the climatic environnement and to the presence of the sea.
Also, Glann ar Mor benefits naturally from the experience of Celtic Whisky Compagnie, as far as whisky maturation is oncerned, in particular with the use of Sauternes casks, the interest of which has no more to be proven.
Last, for a limited period of time, we are offering to amateurs the possibility to buy "en primeur" their own cask of whisky from Glann ar Mor.