At Spirits of France, all our products could be considered exclusive, meaning special, because even our volume sellers are still from relatively small producers where quality and authenticity ( of origin, style, ageing, natural products etc.) are paramount.
So we are clearly off the beaten tracks, but if you want to venture on hardly beaten narrow and faint trails and discover rare marvels you will be rewarded. But prepare nose and palate and some knowledge of serious complex aged spirits and artisan liqueurs :
In ARMAGNAC ( Grand Bas Armagnac Please ! ), Madame Martine Laffitte of tiny Domaine Boingnères (Dry chais) is horribly expensive because she thinks she is the best and all of France agrees with her. Small Domaines Lacourtoisie (Saturation humidity chais) is the most coveted cellar with its thick moss growth on barrels looking like furry teddy bears. And Darroze with its 50 different Domaines or Chateaux of Grand Bas Armagnac, each producing one or two barrels a year.
In COGNAC, Dudognon the purest of the pure of the Grande Champagne origin, with a tiny wood fired still, drying his own oak to make his own barrel and adding nothing but water, …. The last of the Righteous. And Grosperrin Lagabare, extracting from long forgotten cellars, long forgotten barrels of proven vintages and others of certain but unproven vintages (by the Kafkian AOC rules).
In CALVADOS Adrien Camut supplier of the French Republic Presidency and relatively modestly priced for the quality. And Victor Gontier, the farmer from Domfrontais, the Calvados of which vary from year to year whether there has been more apples than pear or the reverse.
In BRANDY (In French FINES) Naud Distillery is creating a revolution by keeping the smallest heart of the distillation to concentrate on the core beauty using varietals traditionally reserved for wines and AOC unauthorised for Cognac. The result would dethrone young but beautiful whiskies. On the other end most FINES from all provinces are disappearing fast in France where whisky is the mark of social success. We have salvaged Fines de Faugères, de Chateauneuf du Pape, d’ Alsace, de Champagne, before they are gone forever.
In FRUIT BRANDIES/SPIRITS (Eaux de Vie) from Domaine du Bollenberg and Distillerie Mette forget about the well-known William Pear and discover what you have never known or heard of: Mullein, Meadowsweet, Acacia, Sweet Woodruff, Medlar, Greengage, Red Elderberry, Wild Cherry etc.
In WHISKY, from the Celtic Whisky Compagnie in Brittany, the darlings of Jim Murray or Michel Couvreur in Burgundy the cellar of which like Lacourtoisie’s further up, almost requires scuba equipment.
Our TEQUILA are artisan’s artisan !
Our AGRICOLE RUMS are the best from different origins, Depaz from Martinique, Bielle from Marie Galante and Séverin from Guadeloupe. Rhum agricole is the French term for cane juice rum distilled in the French Caribbean islands from freshly squeezed sugar cane juice rather than molasses the aromatic palette of which is caramel and caramel !
However some of our TRADITIONAL RUMS from Compagnie des Indes or Dos Maderas stand out, the former made from livelier molasses, the latter with Xerez cask finish.
With many GINS from very good to excellent, let us mention the most artisanesque, Hartshorn Distillery from Tasmania, doing miracles from ewes whey.
In LIQUEURS Massenez and Vedrenne are very big artisans but with their own smaller experimenting distilleries they have real pearls in their vast range. But from Périgord- Dordogne or Provence our artisans continue the very traditional liqueurs of Chestnut, Walnut-Plum, Sloe, Thyme, Genepi, Juniper, Fir tree, Lemon verbena.
ABSINTHE from Jura, the best ! Brilliant artisan VERMOUTH from Maidenii, Heathcote Victoria Australia, Mexican BITTERS, Corsican APERITIFS.
Real CIDERS and PEAR CIDERS from Le Père Jules made from only crushed fruit, unpasteurised, no sulphites, no added water, alcohol, sugar, bubbles, synthetic aromatics, colour etc.