World Whisky

Armorik Yuen Elez

Armorik Yuen Elez (46%, OB, 2020)

YuenElez

What they say

Yeun Elez is a peated Breton Whisky, distilled from peated (50ppm) malted barley from Scotland. Breton Single Malt Whisky, it has been distilled and matured to highlight its delicate, elegant and fruity peat. The name Yeun Elez comes from an old peat bog located in the heart of the Armorique Natural Park, which is also home to many Breton legends (such as that of Tadic Coz represented on the pack).

Located in the Monts d’Arrée, in the heart of the Armorique Natural Park, the Yeun Elez is a swamp considered in Breton legends as the Gateway to Hell.

According to the legend reported by Anatole le Braz, it is the place where the evil souls who haunted the living were thrown into hell. Tadic-Coz, knew the secret and the ritual of locking the souls of ghosts in the body of a black dog. He instructed young Jobic to guide the dog towards the underworld gates. The latter, going from presbytery to presbytery, led the black dog to the rector of Commana. Together, at sunset, they threw the black dog into the Yeun Elez swamp, condemning the ghost to hell.

« We are entering the Yeun Elez, he said to Jobic. Whatever you hear, don’t look away. It is about your life in this world and your salvation in the next. »

A.Le Braz, La Légende de la mort en Basse-Bretagne, 1893.  

Official tasting notes:

  • Pale yellow with golden reflections.
  • Nose: Beautiful aromatic intensity, the peat is medicinal (camphor, cloves) but supported by fruity notes, bananas, cooked peaches, and pastry (cream pastry).
  • Palate: The smoke rounds the palate, citrus notes bringing freshness. Nice roundness with a hint of salinity.
  • Final: A lingering, iodized and spicy finish, ending with a warm wood fire.

What I say

The first release from Distillerie Warenghem’s Yuen Elez peated whisky range. This isn’t their first smokey whisky as they have previously produced their Triagoz expression smoked at the distillery. This is however their first using peat-smoked Scottish barley at 50ppm.

My tasting notes:

  • Appearance: Pale white wine gold (5/20), large tears and thick legs.
  • Nose: Sweet and vanillic, floral dry heather, reminds me of highland peat smoke, heather honey joins biscuity malted barley, hints of apple, pear, peach and banana and oak wood.
  • Taste: Medium bodied, creamy and oily on the palate, gentle vanilla, biscuity cereal, toasted coconut, apple, pear, banana, honey, peat smoke, dry and floral with rosemary and iodine hints, rich toffee persists.
  • Finish: Long sweet, salted caramel and dry beechwood smoke.

Overall

Deliciously sweet and peaty, this has a rich malty sweetness accentuated by vanilla and all pervaded by a thick peat and dry heather brush smoke. Wonderful.

Score 84/100

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