Bastille 1789 French Whisky Review


Bastille 1789 Blended French Whisky is a first for us. I am aware of no other French whisky available where I live, and of course cognacs and brandies abound. I’d say it’s about time we started seeing something from the Frenchies as their country is the biggest per captia consumer of whisky in the world. Perhaps they should start shouldering some of the load, oui? Daucort Distillery, started by Jean-Marc Daucort, released Bastille in 2012 as a clear “luxury” branded whisky. Folks, I have long mastered the ability to separate a whisky’s taste from its marketing, as the latter often times is designed to manipulate the sensory perception of the former, so I usually don’t pay much attention to it, and I am referring to Bastille’s website as the primary culprit here. Free advice: never claim a whisky is “luxury”, “rare,” “incredibly pure,” and “distilled with cutting edge technology” only then to immediately list without blinking cocktail recipes it goes well with. They call those kinds of whiskies “mixers,” and rightly so when Bastille is only 40% ABV and priced under $30.00. You certainly do not need to care. For me, I at most will offer an eye roll and then pour a glass, but really, stop trying so hard to convince people that you have just bottled something from the hidden vaults of Dumbledore only to then say it goes great in a whisky sour. Sigh…

Bastille is distilled from wheat and barley sourced from north east France (so is some Scotch, FYI) in the unique Alembic pot still, commonly used for distilling cognac. I noticed the curious “blended” designation on the label, curious because it appears the contents of the bottle all come from one distillery. I suspect that this label designation is included for the same reason that most Canadian whiskies are designated as blends when they actually are not. Each grain is distilled as its own whisky and is then blended with the other flavor grains later on, which our laws require to be described as “blended.” I don’t know if this is the case with Bastille, but 4 of you may care, so there you go. Pleasingly, Bastille is not some 2 year old “craft” bull, or even sourced from a 3rd party producer, but what we have is an honest to goodness original creation aged for 5-7 years in a variety of casks, namely Limousin French oak, cherry and acacia wood. If not for this interesting make-up, I might not even bother to try given the silliness, the silliness, the never ending silliness of that website. But our work continues…

SWC Group Review

Nose– Plenty of fruit to go around, much like our club: tropical, plums, summer fruit with melon rind, honey and sweet white wine. Gewurztraminer. Gesundheit.

Taste- Spiced pear, apple, honey. Delicate and light. The nose continued.

Finish– Some oak char, tobacco feel. Short and dry, souring.

Comment- Certainly a good candidate for a dessert whisky. Nothing really negative to say other than this isn’t the complex luxury whisky one may expect from the label, but a decent dram to relax with. A nice summertime feel to it. Give it a shot.

SWC Rating – 84/100

Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments section below.

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