Direction Charente in France.
But first of all, a little history. 1875, Louis Giraud is a cooper in the merciless world of Cognac. In 1910, he joined one of the Cognac producers as cellar master. A great lineage of Giraud follows in this place. ALFRED Louis' son (great-grandfather of the current leader), André (Grandfather) and Philippe (Father) succeed each other in this position (you follow?). So, in the lawless world of Cognac, Philippe stands out from the crowd and launches into whisky by joining the Whyte & Mackay teams in 1995 before creating Alfred Giraud French Malt Whisky. Today, Louis, the great-great-great-great-grandfather son of the first Giraud (I tell you that you must follow otherwise it is not possible) is at the head of this assembly house.
Here we are ! Here we are!
Expertise in barrels, whisky and a touch of history, enough to create a beautiful name and to imagine beautiful whiskies. Here, the choice of quality prevails, which results in a very limited range (only two references) but of a high level. We have HERITAGE, in reference to the family lineage, and HARMONY (eccentricity of Georges CLOT, the master assembler of the brand that we will taste today).
For the HARMONIE version therefore, as expected given the history of the GIRAUD family, a lot of work has been done on the finishing (we are with an assembler). Listen to this: the distillate produced by the SVE distillery in Saint Palais is aged in old barrels of Cognac, new barrels of French oaks from the Limousin forest and American oaks. But it's not over yet! Once this first waiting period has passed, the three distillates are put together in very old Cognac barrels to take on their typical character. We then find ourselves with a distillate close to HERITAGE and it is there that part of the liquid remains in the old barrels but is added an EVS distillate this time slightly peaty. Phew! Phew! What a path that leads us to HARMONIE.
It is this maturing process that gives this whisky its magnificent, slightly dark golden colour, enhanced by a beautiful crystal bottle. Top of the range.
But is the plumage worth the ramage? And well in the nose the journey is felt. At the first pass we discover woody and ripe grape aromas (the Cognac brand). Then, that's why we're here, a beautiful little light peat appears (very finely). Subtle and classy.
And in the mouth? This whisky is worthy of the name, it enters in force in the mouth (it still has a title at 46.1°), but very quickly brings rather sweet and sweet aromas. The peat remains present but here again very light and discreet. The agreement is quite harmonious (here it reminds me of something!).
Once swallowed, it leaves a very slight hint of liquorice that quickly disappears to leave softness in the mouth.
Validated! We may regret that the rarity of this whisky that propels him to the top (you still have to pay more than 150 €) but once this step is over, he can make such a beautiful impression on the guests and does not have to pale from the comparison with some scotches.