Scotland: Whisky & Distilleries
Brittany has a very limited number of whisky distilleries. This is a
kind of paradox, as we know that the Irish monks invented whisky, and
as many Irish monks have visited Brittany through the ages. The weather
conditions are good, with temperate summers and winters without frost,
the sea is nearby, in brief the ideal conditions for the blossoming of
And indeed, several distilleries seem to have been active in the area in the olden days.
The name of the place called "Crec'h ar Fur" near the small town Pleubian, where the distillery is settled means "The hill of the wise man". As Jean Donnay does not live alone on this hill, the question is "Who is the wise man, Jean or his neighbour?". I'm personally convinced that such a nice distillery upon the cliff could not have been built without the the great wisdom of Jean Donnay.
The distillery is called "Glann ar Mor", which means in Breton "Seaside".
A hard job has been done for about ten years to build the distillery which would produce its first "new make spirit" in June 2005. All this years have been devoted to research and experimentations in order to create a great whisky, but also to make all the alteration works this old farm needed to become the nice small distillery it is now.
Making decisions about the shape and the size of the stills, finding water for the mashing but also for cleaning the installations are just some of the needed works in the preparation phase of a new distillery.
There are no pictures of the distillery installations on this page (apart from the serpentine condensers which are outside the distillery) because the owner prefers no pictures are taken inside his distillery.
The distillery is made from just one room, where the washbacks (in Oregon pine), the to onion shaped stills (with a capacity of 1300 and 900 litres ) and the tanks where the new make spirit is stored before being transferred in Bourbon or Sauternes casks.
The whole is brand new. The plans of the stills have been made by Jean Donnay, and they were build in France.
The malt used for making the whisky comes partially from North of France. This malt is not peated.
But the distillery uses some peated malt as well, but the latter is imported from Scotland.
The alcohol vapours coming out of the still are slowly cooled in a serpentine condenser. The length of the serpentine is about forty meters.
First distillation with the new stills happened on June 12, 2005 at
Before distilling whisky, the Celtic Whisky Compagnie specialized in
whisky finishes in selected first refill casks.
The Celtic Whisky Compagnie was a pioneer in double maturations in wine casks, like Monbazillac, Cadillac, Sauternes or "Vin de Paille du Jura". The characteristic of this finishes is that the emphasis is on the effects of the finishing cask on the whisky rather than on the origin of the whisky itself. This philosophy helps to guarantee the whisky supplying regardless of the stocks and the will of the individual distilleries. The production area is mentioned on the bottle, not the producing distillery.
All this finishes are single casks, which means that the Celtic Whisky Compagnie can run out of stock for a given kind of maturation.
The second maturation takes generally about one year.
The marketing is made through a network of retailers, and the bottles are not available in supermarkets.
Whisky is an alcoholic drink. Let's prefer quality to quantity as the abuse of alcohol beverages can damage the health. Consuming alcoholic drinks during pregnancy, even in small quantities, can seriously affect the health of the child. Consumption of alcohol impairs your ability to drive a car or operate machinery, and may cause health problems.
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The tasting notes
The production areas
|WDTS: blind tasting sessions||List of all distilleries||How whisky is made||Central Highlands, Eastern Highlands, Northern Highlands,Western Highlands|
|Recent tastings||Distillery owners||Whisky history||Speyside|
|Visitors notes||The independent bottlers||All the bottles in collection||Lowlands|
|Post your own notes||The distilleries in their historical context||By order of preference||Islay|
|Interactive map of the distilleries||By order of value for money||Campbeltown|