French whisky Black Mountain to partner with sail transport company TOWT (TransOceanic Wind Transport) for a one-of-a-kind sea maturation experience.
Departing from the banks of Bordeaux right a month ago (May 2) on board of an old tuna seiner called « La Nébuleuse » and sailing from Northern Brittany to Bordeaux, the Black Mountain N°2 cask will then be transshipped in Dourdenez on the magnificient « Grayhound », an English vessel engaging in « cabotage » between France, southern England and Scilly islands. All in all, the cask is meant to spend at least 6 months out at sea, navigating through winds and tides : an exceptional adventure which should come to an end this fall.
The main goal of this whole operation is obviously to experiment sea maturation : the slow moves of the boat making the whisky gently swirling in the cask while temperature variations allow the wood to expand and contract… Not to mention the sea spray which should also have an important impact on the whisky. 280 litres of spirit are then currently travelling at sea – that’s about as much whisky that should be bottled for a future VERY limited release !
If Cédric Leprette, co-founder of Black Mountain, chose to engage in this adventure, that’s also a matter of personal belief : « I am extremely concerned about the environment, and so are my associates, I also like this conqueror, adventurous, almost chevalric spirit ! I find all of these aspects with TOWT : reviving sailing merchant navy in 2015 and introducing the initiative as a pioneering concept, this is simply awesome and jubilant ».
Cédric also talks about a « kind of return to the roots of whisky : it was actually following transportation of the spirit in barrels within sailing boats towards the colonies that British have discovered the positive impact of prolonged wood maturation on whisky. »
Probably the first of a series of future partnerships with the young TOWT, whose mission is to revive the sailing merchant navy, the whole team at Black Mountain is very much looking forward to assessing the results of this uncommon experience.