[Review] Glann ar Mor - Kornog Taouarc'h Kentan 15 BC 46%

For the very first one, I decided to go with a French whisky, more specifically a Breton whisky. I know, the fact that I am French has probably affected my decision, but Scotland does not have the monopoly for good whisky. 
As I mentioned in my welcome post, I do like strong flavours in whisky, peat and smoke in particular. After having tried and discovered some of the key peaty whiskies (Islay bottles in particular) I decided to research French whisky to see whether I could also find expressions of my favourite taste back home too. My research confirmed what I already knew (France isn't a major whisky producer despite being a major whisky drinker) but also brought to my attention a handful of distilleries, mainly located in Brittany. The one which particularly caught my eye was the Glann ar Mor distillery (glann ar mor meaning by the sea in Breton), located in Pleubian on the North coast. The distillery was created in 1997 but started being fully operational in the mid-2000. The founders Jean and Martine Donnay decided to created a craft distillery where authenticity and tradition are paramount. This is the reason why they use wooden washbacks for their fermentation, live flame to heat their two small pot stills in a slow distillation process, and worm tubs for condensing the spirit. At the end of the process, we get two expressions from the distillery: the unpeated Glann ar Mor and the peated version called Kornog (meaning the West wind in Breton). 
I went to Brittany over the summer and even if I didn't manage to make it to Pleubian, I still managed to get hold of a bottle of Kornog, the 2015 edition, and here it is:


As I mentioned earlier, the authentic methods the Donnays are following to produce their whisky means that it is obviously not chill filtered and the very pale yellow colour is natural. Kornog is bottled at 46% ABV.
Now here goes my first tasting note:

Nose: iodine, sea-weed, peat, farm, marzipan and a hint of vanilla. To me, it smells like walking through a vegetable patch right by the sea!

Palate: more smoke than peat, coal

Finish: ash and peat, quite long

With water: Much sweeter. Fresher nose, more fruity with hints of fresh laundry. Marzipan much more apparent on the palate with some vanilla.

A very good whisky if you like the peat.

The last interesting fact regarding Glann ar Mor distillery is that Jean and Martine Donnay are currently in the process of building the 9th distillery on Islay in Gartbreck, due to open in 2016. Same methods involved, so watch this space!


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