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Introduction to French Whisky

French whisky flag  © Heavenly Spirits 2016

"French whisky?" you ask. Mais oui! As of now there are 36 distilleries in France (and counting!) and 8 independent bottlers making 100% French whiskies, and bringing 60 brands to the market. 750,000 bottles of French whisky are sold per year. The first distillery to begin distilling French whisky over a quarter century ago is Warenghem in Brittany. Armorik is the pioneer and leader in the production of French Single Malts. Born on Celtic ground in Brittany, the original “Oui” dram is also the most awarded French Single Malt in the US.

 

There is currently no legal definition for French whisky in general, although Brittany and Alsace were granted an IGP for their respective regions back in 2015.

 

In January of this year, the Federation du Whisky de France was founded. Headed by Christophe Dupic as President (also producer of Rozelieures Single Malts from Lorraine) and whisky guru, Philippe Juge as Director. The objective of the foundation is to define and regulate the category, fight against counterfeit ("Made in France" on the label sells!), and promote French whiskies.

Heavenly Spirits whiskies of France region map, including Armorik Single Malts from Brittany and Rozelieures Single Malts from Lorraine

Heavenly Spirits' is proud to offer some of the best, most innovative French whiskies. They include the first single malt produced in France, Armorik, a range full of the Breton influence, which shares many characteristics to its whisky cousins in the Celtic isles.

 

In addition, we represent the first single malt whisky produced in Lorraine, Rozelieures, from Grallet-Dupic, who take their farm to bottle approach, their impact on the environment, and the impact of the environment on their whisky very seriously.  

 

France is the world's largest consumer of whisky, drinking an average 2.15 liters of the beloved brown spirit per adult per year. In comparison, "in the US, the home of Bourbon, they only drink 1.44 litres of whisky per person each year and in Britain it's 1.25 litres per person, ever so slightly ahead of the Irish on 1.24 litres per person." France is the biggest consumer of blended Scotch whiskies in the world, led by Johnny Walker, Ballantines and Chivas. Also worth noting, Aberlour is the #1 Scotch Single Malt sold in France. 30% of all spirits sold in France are whiskies.