Oct 01, 2014

Pro$hibition Vin de Paille Single Cask Review

The name Pro$hibition might be a an odd looking duck...

Pro$hibition Vin de Paille Single Cask Review
The name Pro$hibition might be a an odd looking duck at first, but this whisky is anything but. Hailing from the Jura region of France this single malt is aged for 3-4 years in Vin de Paille (straw wine) barrels. If you’re like me and had to look up what that is I’ll save you a Google search and tell you that Vin de Paille is made from grapes that have been either left on the vine, or traditionally laid out on straw mats, to dry into raisins before being used to make wine. But the uniqueness of this whisky does’t stop there.

The brain child of Pascal Tissot, and 11th generation wine maker and distiller, he uses Blavier stills from 1934 that were originally used to distill lavender to create his whiskies. That lavender distillate was then used to create perfume, so a very different use indeed. After being double distilled, the whisky is then aged in Jura feuillette barrels which I’m told are 1/2 the size of a Burgundian barrel and hold 114 liters (30 gallons). Then after 3-4 years of aging (aged till they’re ready) the cask is dumped, brought down to 41% ABV and then bottled without any mixing or blending of the casks. All in all a very interesting approach to creating whisky.

Pro$hibition Vin de Paille Single Cask Review

ABV: 41%
Age: 3-4 years (till it’s ready)
Price: $147 (in Canada)*
Distiller: Tissot
Mashbill: 100% Barley (it’s a French single malt)


Dried orchard fruit, malt, wood and citrus peel effortlessly float from the glass. It’s a nice mix of sweet and earthy that bring with it notes of brûlée, hay and a nutty characteristic. Some light notes of vermouth like sweetness and mushrooms move in as the whisky opens up and becomes an array of complex aromas.

Equally complex the palate mixes things up a bit with citrus, vanilla, hay and a sherry like sweetness leading the initial charge. Ripe dark fruit, leather, cinnamon, nutmeg, fruit leather, and wood all wash through next. Notes of malt, grapes and an armagnac like spice trail through in the wake on their way to the finish.

Long and filled with notes of sherry like sweetness, armagnac like spices, malt, vanilla, wood, hay and dried fruit.

Excellent balance with the sweet, savory and earthy all playing their parts and keeping everything in check. A nice full body that feels smooth and heavy as you drink it.

Damn. I had seriously given up on French whisky after trying the Bastille and Brenne, but this has completely changed my mind. This is the quality I was expecting when I think of French made alcohol. The way the rich sweet and earthy notes waft from the glass, the way they collide and balance each other out on the palate and the lip smacking finish is just fantastic. I’m now a fan of French whisky, I just wish I could get it here in the USA because I’d be buying a bottle tomorrow.

SCORE: 90/100


*Disclosure: This was sent to me by the company for the purposes of this review.

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tagged french whisky, france, french, prohibition, single malt, straw wine...