Zero Nine Spirits: Armorik / Rozelieures

Zero Nine Spirits: Armorik / Rozelieures

In our French week we’re happy to investigate a newish independent bottler: Zero Nine Spirits. This brand was started by childhood friends Grégory and Alain. For years they shared and discussed spirits from around the world before venturing into the business that is now Zn09.

Their portfolio is quite large already, including whisky, gin, rum, armagnac and cognac. For more details, check the Zero Nine website which also has an online shop.

We start with Armorik, the whisky from Warenghem distillery in France. We’ve already had some nice bottlings from them.


Armorik 2015 (53%, Zero Nine Spirits 2023, STR cask, 202 btl.)

Nose: mild wood aromas, mixed with fresh figs and hints of apricot. Caramelized plum and hints of cherries too. Then some dried wildflowers, vanilla, pepper and ginger. Citrusy notes in a second wave, as well as light heather honey. Some pine wood and wood char in the back. Good balance.

Mouth: lively attach, on nice plums and peaches, as well as some yellow apple and sweet gooseberries. Still some fresh oak but well integrated. Sweet vanilla cake, zesty lemons, white pepper and caramelized almond.

Finish: medium, with the same flavours fading smoothly. Light pepper and vanilla in the end but no obvious winey notes.

The STR influence is well dosed here, making this a nicely rounded whisky with just enough oak. We’re starting high, this is one of the nicer French whiskies I’ve had so far, but Armorik is a bit of an established name anyway.


We continue with another Armorik, with a more complex ageing process: 2 years in bourbon barrels and after that a lengthy period in STR ‘Vinho Diaz’ barrels.


Armorik 16 yo 2008 (58,6%, Zero Nine Spirits 2024, STR cask, 196 btl.)

Armorik 2008 STR - Zero Nine Spirits

Nose: quite fragrant, with a sweet and buttery pastry base. Warm croissant with some burnt bread crust, almost a hint of wood smoke even. Blackberry, prune tartlets and caramelized apple underneath, as well as forest honey and whiffs of oriental spice. Overall quite sweet and woody.

Mouth: very spicy, with lots of black pepper, clove and juniper. Then some obvious red wine notes as a baseline flavour, including tannins, mixed with some bitter herbs and dark berries. A bit too prickly perhaps, with hints of charred oak aplenty. Toasted walnuts. Light tobacco and chocolate in the end.

Finish: long, earthy and spicy. Intense woody notes with a bittersweet finale.

This is a fierce whisky, due to the abundant wood spice – very different from the previous cask. The (red wine) sweetness underneath makes it a bit bloated in my opinion. I’m not sure STR casks were meant to be used for such a long time. Score: 84/100


Then Rozelieures, which is a single malt produced by Distillerie Grallet-Dupic (in the Lorraine region). Since 2017 they operate as a single farm estate, producing their own barley. This is a cuvée, so I suppose they mean a mixture of different casks and vintages. Zn09 released this bottling for Malt in France, the first trade fair dedicated to French whisky.


Rozelieures Tourbé (54,1%, Zero Nine Spirits for Malt In France 2024, 110 btl.)

Rozelieures Tourbé - Zero Nine Spirits - Malt in France

Nose: lots of (slightly dusty) cereal notes, with a metallic touch and a sourness that I associate with rye sometimes. This mixes nicely with green apples, lemons and yellow plums. Subtle whiffs of almond, vanilla cake and a fair amount of fresh oak aromas. Very light herbal smoke in the distance.

Mouth: sweet and woody, with juniper, herbal tea and smoked lemons. Then some lemon candy, honey and smoked peaches set in. Black pepper and aniseed, as well as plain oak.

Finish: medium, but most of the flavours fade quickly, mostly leaving sweet spice, bready notes and cold smoke in the end.

You can tell there are some very young elements in this cuvée. Peat hides youth, so the outcome is rather positive. Score: 82/100