Whisky
 
 
 

Choose your whisky well: advice from our sommelier

 
 

How is whisky made? What is the difference between a “single malt”, a “blended” whisky or a “single cask”? This month, the cellar master of La Cave Rive Droite, Benoit Cornillault, helps us to distinguish the main types of whisky, by focusing on how they are made. Also discover his selection of Japanese, Scottish and French whiskies, to find the eau-de-vie for you, to suit your tastes and the occasion.

 
la grande épicerie de Paris - Whiskies
 

What are the ingredients needed to make whisky?

 

Whisky is made of only 3 ingredients: cereals, water and yeasts.
The most common cereal is barley, but you can also make whisky with wheat, rye or corn.
Each raw ingredient has its importance, allowing very specific flavours to be obtained. Water, for example, itself determines 5% of the aromatic palette. Its aromas vary depending on whether it is soft water from a lake, or “hard” water with a higher concentration of mineral salts.

 

What are the main stages of production?

 

Whisky requires numerous steps in its fabrication, which allows the distilleries to express their own style. During malting, barley is first humidified to promote germination. Then, it is placed in an oven, the kiln, the reveal its aromas. It is also during the drying that peat is added, bringing the smoky notes so characteristic of peated whiskies.
The malt thus obtained is then brewed with hot water to liberate its sugars. In contact with the yeasts, they transform into alcohol during fermentation.
During distillation, generally carried out in a copper still, the whiskies are distilled twice, or 3 times in the case of Irish whiskeys. So are obtained notes even more subtle and light, often floral.
The whiskies are finally place to age in barrels. The type of wood used, the age of the barrels, their size and the time spent in the cellar all are characteristics that variously influence the colour and aromas of whisky. Barrels that contained Sherry or Xérès are particularly sought after because they bring delicate notes of candied fruit, figs or plums, and a lovely amber colour.

 

What difference is there between a single malt whisky, a blend malt, a blended whisky and a single cask?

 

- The “single malt” refers to a whisky made with malted barley coming from a single distillery, like the “select distillery” from Kavalan.
- We also distinguish “blended malt” from “blended whisky”. The former refers to whiskies obtained from “single malts” of several distilleries, like the Nikka whisky from the Barrel. As for “blended whisky”, this mixes grain whiskies with barley whiskies from different distilleries.
- the “single cask” is whisky coming from a single ageing barrel. It is a rare product whose bottles are often numbered. In general, single cask is a “cask strength” whisky; it has not been diluted with water after distillation and so retains it retains its natural alcohol content.

 
la grande épicerie de Paris - Whiskies
 

What nuances exist between Japanese, French, Taiwanese or Scottish whiskies?

From one country to another the water, the climate and the expertise vary and bring valuable differences.
- Country of whisky, Scotland has a large number of distilleries like The Dalmore, Glenfiddich or The Balvenie, to name but few. On the palate, Scottish whiskies are dry and strong, sometimes peated with saline, iodised notes.
- Japanese whiskies are particularly renowned for the elegance of their flavours, obtained during distillation. The most sought after are notably aged in “mizunara” barrels, an especially rare variety of oak. Among the best, is Nikka from the barrel: a strong, spicy whisky with a smoky finish.
- Taiwanese whiskies are generally rich and rounded. Kavalan is a charming whisky, with notes of exotic fruit and vanilla.
- Finally, since the 2000s, France has begun to develop with some good houses like Michel Couvreur and his Intravagan’za, with notes of flowers and candied fruit, with good complexity. Le Domain des Hautes Glaces also proposes a remarkable range of whiskies. The organic barley used to make it is grown in the heart of the Alps. Double distilled, the single malt has aromas of exotic fruit, almond and chocolate.

 

And to finish, what are the 3 criteria to consider when making your choice?

 

It all depends on personal taste and the occasion at which it will be enjoyed. As an aperitif, a lighter whisky is preferable whilst as a digestive, a more complex whisky, like a peated whisky, is appropriate.
In the same way, to discover whisky, one begins with something rounded and smooth like the blended whiskies. Then, one moves on to something stronger, like peated and single cask whiskies.

 
 
 
 

Discover our section of

whiskies

 
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Bellevoye Whisky
An excellent whisky created from a blend of three French single malts from three different regions and three stills. Once blended, they are aged in casks from Sauternes Premier and Grands Crus, giving this subtle blend a unique profile. A must-see for lovers of fine whiskies.
€49.90
70 cl (71,29 € / L)
Bellevoye Whisky
Just as with the Bellevoye Bleu version, we find here a triple malt with whiskies from three different regions of France. In this red version, we find three malts aged between 5 and 8 years, with a finishing in Saint-Émilion Grands Crus Classé barrels. This whisky exudes grace and charm.
€66.50
70 cl (95,00 € / L)
PRODUCT UNAVAILABLE
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0 0.0 12
Bellevoye Whisky
A high-end French whisky. A blend of three unique single malts, selected during a blind tasting. Here single malts from three regions come together, which have been aged for three to eight years in oak barrels. After blending, this whisky remains in barrels for nine to twelve months. The result is...
A high-end French whisky. A blend of three unique single malts, selected during a blind tasting. Here single malts from three regions come together, which have been aged for three to eight years in oak barrels. After blending,...
€39.50
70 cl (56,43 € / L)
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Kavalan
A great Single Malt Whisky, straight from Taiwan. By the Master Blender Ian Chang, renowned and awarded several times as one of the best in the world. The success of this whisky is, without doubt, due to the fact that it is made with water from Yilan county that gives it unique character and...
A great Single Malt Whisky, straight from Taiwan. By the Master Blender Ian Chang, renowned and awarded several times as one of the best in the world. The success of this whisky is, without doubt, due to the fact that it is made...
€49.90
70 cl (71,29 € / L)
The Dalmore
Soft nose with notes of cinnamon, vanilla and red fruits. The mouth presents flavours of exotic fruits, caramel and banana. A finish of orange zest, bergamot and spices.
€109.00
70 cl (155,71 € / L)
PRODUCT UNAVAILABLE
The Dalmore
A historic Single Malt. Distilled in 1969 and aged in American white oak barrels for 40 years. In 2009, the whisky was refined in a small collection of bourbon barrels, for 3 years. Bottled at 45.5% volume. The Dalmore Constellation collection brings together 21 whiskies from the famous Dalmore...
A historic Single Malt. Distilled in 1969 and aged in American white oak barrels for 40 years. In 2009, the whisky was refined in a small collection of bourbon barrels, for 3 years. Bottled at 45.5% volume. The Dalmore...
€25000.00
70 cl (35.714,29 € / L)
PRODUCT UNAVAILABLE
The Dalmore
Distilled in 1971, this Single Malt was aged for 40 years in an old bourbon barrel (Cask number 2). For the first time, Dalmore distillery offers a unique and complete range of vintages made at the famous distillery in the Highlands between 1964 and 1992. Remarkable works of art. The perfect gift...
Distilled in 1971, this Single Malt was aged for 40 years in an old bourbon barrel (Cask number 2). For the first time, Dalmore distillery offers a unique and complete range of vintages made at the famous distillery in the...
€20000.00
70 cl (28.571,43 € / L)
PRODUCT UNAVAILABLE
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The Dalmore
Created in honour of the act of bravery that saved the King of Scotland in 1263, this whisky is aged in six types of specially selected barrels to bring it to perfect maturity. Whiskies aged in barrels of bourbon, Matusalem oloroso sherry, Madeira, Marsala, Port and Cabernet Sauvignon casks are...
Created in honour of the act of bravery that saved the King of Scotland in 1263, this whisky is aged in six types of specially selected barrels to bring it to perfect maturity. Whiskies aged in barrels of bourbon, Matusalem...
€195.00
70 cl (278,57 € / L)
The Dalmore
Initially matured for 14 years in American white oak casks, The Dalmore 18 is then transferred to Mathusalem sherry casks for a further three years. Finally, it is allowed to rest for 12 months in a third set of casks made from top-quality sherry to round it out and balance the flavours.
€149.00
70 cl (212,86 € / L)
PRODUCT UNAVAILABLE
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The Dalmore
Single Malt whisky, Highlands, Scotland, no peat. The Dalmore Distillery, in the heart of the Scottish Highlands, was founded in 1874 overlooking the famous “Black Isle”. It is one of the few distilleries that sells very old single malt whiskies (50 and 62 years old). The stag’s head that adorns...
Single Malt whisky, Highlands, Scotland, no peat. The Dalmore Distillery, in the heart of the Scottish Highlands, was founded in 1874 overlooking the famous “Black Isle”. It is one of the few distilleries that sells very old...
€97.00
70 cl (138,57 € / L)
Distillerie des Hautes Glaces
A very charming whisky made with rye malt. Here, you can find double distillation and Solera aging, which makes this Single Rye so complex. In order to preserve its flavours and richness, this whisky is not cold filtered and in addition it is organically produced. A whisky to thrill those who enjoy...
A very charming whisky made with rye malt. Here, you can find double distillation and Solera aging, which makes this Single Rye so complex. In order to preserve its flavours and richness, this whisky is not cold filtered and in...
€99.00
70 cl (141,43 € / L)
PRODUCT UNAVAILABLE
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Distillerie Nikka Whisky
Discover Nikka "From The Barrel" Whisky at La Grande Épicerie de Paris
€39.95
50 cl (79,90 € / L)
Michel Couvreur
One of the big names in outstanding French whisky. Here, Michel Couvreur brings us a unique whisky. Cereal eaux-de-vie are distilled in Scotland, and aged slowly in old sherry barrels in the cellars of Burgundy. An exceptional single malt aged in Xérès Oloroso and Moscatel barrels.
€68.20
70 cl (97,43 € / L)
PRODUCT UNAVAILABLE
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Distillerie des Hautes Glaces
An organic single malt made in the mountains. It comes from a double distillation of barley malt, from the alpine highlands, resulting in a whisky displaying notes from its terroir and a specialised savoir-faire. A single malt which will easily amaze whisky lovers.
€99.00
70 cl (141,43 € / L)

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