Amaethon Single Malt / Single Cask Pineau

Amaethon Single Malt / Single Cask Pineau

We already had the French whisky Amaethon last year. I tried their early release which had a straight bottle design. Since then they switched to a more unique, slightly conical bottle.

They contacted me to inform me about the new releases. Back then the spirit was a personalised cut produced at Warenghem. Nowadays they have their own spirit, distilled in Alambic Charentais, between Angoulême and Cognac. We’re trying a recent batch of the single malt together with a single cask release.

The standard Amaethon is still made with pure French barley. The whisky ages in American oak: 50% ex-bourbon and 50% virgin oak (charring level 3 + 4). They reduce the spirit to 60% ABV before entering casks.


Amaethon Single Malt (45%, OB +/- 2023)

Nose: vanilla dough and lots of flour notes mixed with white floral hints and pencil shavings. Then a gin-like element appears, think juniper, sage and other bright herbs. Subtle coppery notes. Light vegetal touches like green banana peels and leafy notes, as well as some plums in the background.

Mouth: very malty, with plenty of cereal notes. Ginger, nutmeg and other baking spice – the virgin oak is having its say. Then honey and sweet lemons make it rounder again, leading up to some apricot and buttery pastry. Bread crust. There’s a gritty edge that gives away its youth. Also caramelized hazelnut in the end.

Finish: medium, with a fairly generic caramel note, a bit of white pepper and plenty of cereals.

A decent 3 year-old, although I liked the Warenghem spirit better. It’s a correct product, but nothing truly indispensable (at this age). Available from Spiritique. If you’re outside of France, you can get it from The Whisky Exchange for instance.



Amaethon Single Cask (46,5%, OB +/- 2023, Pineau des Charentes cask #0132, 700 btl.)

Amaethon Single cask - Pineau des Charentes

Nose: the virgin oak influence makes place for more sweetness here, lowering the complexity at the same time. Hints of apricots, biscuits and orange peels. Light honeyed tea. Still faint hints of gin botanicals and copper in the background (perhaps the result of the Charentais), but far less.

Mouth: while there’s a nice grape sweetness to it, there’s also a slightly boozy side. Lemon and unripe pear appear, with hints of rhubarb. Ginger and grapefruit peels. Then the grainy notes take over, with a neutral flavour that I’m not very fond of. Also white pepper and some tannins.

Finish: medium, bittersweet now, with more citrus zest, walnuts and clove oil.

I like Pineau and I really expected this to be an asset, but it doesn’t feel balanced. Nice experiments but there’s a whole range of good French whisky so the competition is tough. Available from Spiritique. Score: 75/100