Whisky review: Michel Couvreur Candid

Category: Blended Scotch Whisky

Origin: Scotland

Bottling: Michel Couvreur

ABV: 49%

Cost: £117.33 from Master of Malt

michel-couvreur-candid-malt-whisky

What they say:

In the 1950’s Michel Couvreur, originally from Belgium, landed in Burgundy and made and marketed wine there. He took frequent trips to England and Scotland where he sold his wine, but was particularly drawn to Scotland for the fabulous fishing and hunting. Eventually he moved to England in 1956, then to Scotland in 1964 where he became involved in the production process of whisky – from the selection of the most ancient strains of cereals to employing extremely rare sherry casks. It became his dream to pursue the passion he had for making a unique Scotch Whisky. Unfortunately times were changing in the whisky production and the old methods were being replaced by new cheaper ones. The old sherry casks traditionally used were replaced by steel or plastic. Michel decided to return to France in the 70’s to be nearer to where the sherry casks originate and he dug his own cellar in the hillsides of Bouze-les-Beaune. Here, about midway between the Andalusian vineyards and the Scottish Highlands, Michel Couvreur matures his Whiskies in these rare sherry casks (Pedro Ximenez and/or Palomino) to produce an exceptional whisky until he passed away in August 2013. Since then his long-time employee Jean-Arnaud Frantzen and son-in-law Cyril have continued his tradition.

This blended malt from Michel Couvreur, made from Scottish whisky which is aged in cellars in Burgundy using Sherry oak casks. The Candid expression is buttery and rich, with plenty of Sherry oak influence – think sun dried raisins and hints of almond oil – with touches of peat running though it.

What I say:

Michel Couvreuer maturation cellar in Burgundy, France have been producing some interesting expressions for quite some time. Unfortunately these whiskies have not been the easiest to obtain in the UK and now may fall foul of recent changes in the scotch whisky regulations which now demand Scotch whisky is also bottled in Scotland. That aside lets not detract from the wonderful work being performed here with blended scotch whisky interred into some wonderful sherry casks and matured in a traditional Burgundy wine cellar. I have seen plenty of bottles on sale in France and more recently wider distribution within the UK.

Colour:

Copper bronze 13/20, fine tears, ultra fine legs

Nose:

Tobacco leather, fruity, date, figs, red fruits, plum, cigar boxes, nutty walnut, chestnut & almonds, lightly peated, radiator heat, iron/copper filings metallic, black cherry, old runner tyres

Taste:

Tobacco leaf, cigars, molasses, dates, damson, plum, black cherry jam, iron filings, peaty ashen smoke light malty honeyed gristy, spiced candied peel, raisins sultanas dried fruits/fruitcake, demerara sugar

Finish:

Long spiced tannic and nutty dried fruits, wispy smoke, slight waxiness like polished beeswax candle

Overall:

Complex and intense, with a great mixture of flavours from what I presume must be heavily sherried oloroso influence? Hints of peat and other stuff, really quite awesome!

Score: 91/100

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