Why is Michel Couvreur's whiskey our favorite?
Most people are surprised to hear about the existence of French whisky, even more surprised when they try Burgundy's Michel Couvreur. Couvreur is one of the few whisky producers that keep the traditional maturing his whiskies in the rare, old casks. Lots of time and money is spent searching out old Pedro Ximénez, Palomino, and Vin Jaune casks as Michel believes what was in the barrel previously represents up to 90% of the final quality of the whisky.
Mr. Couvreur, originally from Belgium, arrived in 1950 in Burgundy to market and make wine. After moving to Scotland in the mid-1960’s, Michel’s passion for whisky was born. Unfortunately, through the mass-marketization of whisky, the old methods that led to whisky being so special were being replaced by cheaper and more productive methods. Traditional casks were put aside for plastic or steel ones. This led Michel Couvreur to move back to Burgundy in the mid-1970’s and thus his reputation of “The Last of the Mohicans” was born.
What makes Michel Couvreur's Whiskies so special is not the distilled base product but the choice of barrels they have been selecting. They keep a very special attention to the choice of barrel, spending a lot of time and money looking for the most unique barrels down all over Europe. What matter the most, as it represents 90% of the final quality, is what was in the barrel before and how much and how long it has been impregnating the wood. Michel Couvreur whisky’s style is acquired by years of long contact with Sherry or other different impregnated wine casks.
The bottle that put Michel Couvreur on the map
Bere Barley practically extinct since the early 19th century, Michel Couvreur is the pioneer to start using the ancient barley to express malt in its raw purity. Entirely crafted by Michel M.A. Couvreur, he malted and distilled obtaining a product similar to malts of the times of Queen Victoria. Produced in extremely limited quantities, this is the whisky that’s completely different from any current whiskey. This whisky is aged for more than 16 years in Delgado Zuleta cream sherry cask and Dos Cortados sherry cask.
The annual production is 60, 000 bottles. Michel Couvreur does not want to increase their volume as they consider that it will impact the quality of its production.