Wednesday, August 3, 2016

More French Whiskey: Rozelieures Single Malts

Lately, we seem to be getting a lot of new single malts from France. The latest to land at my door is a quartet of single malts from G. Rozelieures. These malts come from Lorraine, where the family grows its own barley. They are all peated to some degree and are aged in a variety of casks.

Rozelieures Origine Collection, 4 years old, 40% abv ($50)

This whiskey is aged in sherry and Cognac casks. It has a nice nose with malt, light peat, and some agave notes. The palate is very heavy on Tequila type notes with some sweetness at the end that leads into a sweet, Tequila finish. It's not bad but at 40% it tastes a bit diluted. A few points higher on the proof scale would do it well.

Rozelieures Rare Collection, 5 years old, 40% abv ($60)

This expression is lightly peated, aged in sherry and Cognac casks and finished in Sauternes casks. There are nice peaty/malty notes on the nose. The palate has light peat and very slight wine notes. The finish is slightly peated with some nice peat on the nose. Again, very decent, less watery tasting than the Origine.

Rozelieures  Fumé Collection, 6-8 years old, 40% abv ($75)

This one is aged in first fill Oloroso and Fino sherry casks. The nose opens with big sulfur notes. The sulfur is more muted on the palate which has pleasant dry sherry notes. It gains a touch of sweetness in the finish.

Rozelieures Tourbe Collection, 8 years old 46% abv ($90)

This one is peated to 30 ppm, aged in ex-bourbon casks and finished in new oak from Lorraine. It's malty on the nose with light peat. On the palate, it's got syrupy sweet peat. The peat grows into the finish.

There are all very pleasant and worth trying. They are certainly the most Scotch-like of the French malts I've tried without any of the flowery/perfume notes that I associate with French single malts. They all could benefit from a higher proof point though. I'd love to try them at cask strength.

Thanks to Heavenly Spirits for the samples.

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