Thursday 23 July 2009

23rd July, 2009

Just back from 18 days holiday. Visited the town of Erquy on the north coast of Brittany, what the call "le Cote d'Emeraude". Erquy is a very pleasant wee town with fabulous beaches - acres of sand! It has French, Belgian, Dutch, German and Swiss tourist - and damned few Brits! Good food and friendly locals. We holidayed in the Western Loire two years ago and noticed that the Euro prices had risen quite considerably since 2007. That added to the poor Sterling - Euro exchange rate made for an expensive holiday.
I was even in swimming a few times and the water wasn't too cold.
Visited Glann ar Mor distillery and hour and a half to the north west of Erquy. Here, Jean Donnay and his wife Martine operate the Celtique Whisky Compagnie, a Breton independent bottler, see Jean and Patrick, his helper (warehouseman/mashman/stillman/etc.) produce small amounts of spirit from distillery buildings which have the date 1668 carved into the lintel above the door. The first of Glann ar Mor's spirit became whisky at three years old earlier this year and was bottled at 3 years and 4 months old. My tasting note will follow.
Very cute little stills with a production of around a mere 50,000 bottles per annum, distillation is slow, wash still distillation takes 14 hours, spirit still distillation even slower.
Jean Donnay is a driven character, enthused, animated and focussed. A great ambassador for his own product, the stills were made for him in the Charente and are both direct fired - without rummagers.

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