This summer during our family holiday I gave my wife and kid an afternoon off from me and during that short period I went to Bouze-les-Beaune to visit the cellars of Michel Couvreur. The company that is, since the man himself passed away last year.
Now I could go into detail about the company, their philosophy and all kinds of other things, but I am writing that into an article for our club magazine so it’s not going to pop up here, yet. Maybe in another review if I get my hands on samples or bottles from the Burgundian whisky bottler.
An introduction to the whisky is also rather hard, since it’s a blended malt of which not much information is available. When in France I was told that it’s about 8 years old, but that isn’t on the label. A NAS whisky, as there are many nowadays, but Couvreur have been doing that for decades, so they were quite ahead of their time, as it were.
What’s a given with Couvreur is that their whiskies mainly come from first fill sherry butts, and this one is no exception.
The bitterness of this whisky is the first thing that stands out. It’s not a spicy bitterness to me, but vast amounts of bitter and salted caramel. Of course, there is a lot of sweetness going on, mainly with peaches. There’s a slight smokiness too, like a doused campfire so not overly peaty. The bitterness goes towards dark chocolate as well.
Spicy and bitter at first. Not as sweet as on the nose with peaches and it’s pith. Some chocolate, oak and salty caramel. That salted caramel is the theme of this whisky (and the reason I bought it, I love that stuff). Some red chili peppers too.
The finish is a bit dry and very long. Again, the bitterness of the salted caramel comes through, but it softens quickly into smoked peaches. The smoke is of the wood and heather kind.
I put this on the table, blinded, during my last Blog Birthday Party and as it turned out, it wasn’t for everyone. Some people liked it, others didn’t. I love this stuff. It’s not a very complex dram, but the sherry influence is of a kind that I’m not too familiar with and I love the salted, and slightly burned caramel flavours.
I did find out I overpaid quite severly in France since it’s on at a discounted price in Bussum, in the newly opened webshop of club buddy Nils. So prices vary from € 69 to about € 100, which makes for an interesting bargain hunt.
I tasted some other whiskies from Couvreur while there, and I can say the quality is very high, but in general (this one may be the exception) you shouldn’t expect some flavour bomb since they like to go for more subtle drams of a digestive. In France that means something else than in Scotland I guess.
Michel Couvreur’s Candid, 49%, First Fill Sherry casks, € 69 here (look under M).