Sometimes a brand will reach out to me about a review I did a while ago and ask me to try their latest version; this Bastille 1789 Blended Whisky review is one such occasion. You can find my original Bastille French Whisky review here and I recommend reading it to see how much different the previous version was vs this one… it’s night and day.
In Maison Daucourt’s Words: Bastille 1789 Blended Whisky
“BRIGHT ORANGE AMBER COLOR. INTRIGUING AROMAS OF Orange Marmalade, Dried Apricot, Spice Cake, Pineapple Blossoms and Suede with a vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a long, Orange Bread Crust, Peach Cobbler, Peppery Spice and limestone accented finish. A remarkably fruity, exotic and enigmatic whisky that will make unique cocktails.”
What’s interesting to me is that they don’t mention any peat, but this latest release of Bastille 1789 Blended Whisky is decidedly phenolic and peaty which the first run definitely was not. After tasting it I reached back out to the owners about the peat and vastly different flavor profile to see what had changed. This is what I got back.
“As you know French Whisky is very recent. The first batches of Bastille 1789 Blended Whisky were the very beginning of the brand. Over the past years we’ve constantly been improving our whisky. Our blend is the witness of our evolution of know-how and knowledge in the whisky distillation and maturation process. French whisky is an art we become better at everyday, and we take pride in being one of first on the market.
The version you tried 3+ years ago was number one of the first 3 lots, bottled from 2010 to 2012, which was the release of our first mash bill. Since then we changed the Mash Bill (and has remained constant since) that contains about half of malted barley, and slightly peated.”
So it’s now a 50% single malt / 50% grain whisky blend and they’re using lightly peated malt. All of which I think were great moves as it’s become a substantially better whisky than batch 1. It’s still not very complex, but it is better, more interesting and doesn’t taste like flat orange soda and bubblegum. All of which we’ll dig into right now in the Bastille 1789 Blended Whisky review!
Bastille 1789 Blended Whisky Info
Mashbill: French Single Malt + French Grain Whisky (wheat, malted barley, and corn)
Cask: French Limousin Oak
Bastille 1789 Blended Whisky Review
Light airy aroma of banana chips, dried apricots, vanilla cupcakes, smoke, hazelnuts, coconut oil and a bit of bubblegum, butterscotch and spirit. It’s possible the peat is used to cover up some of the more undesirable notes from the first iteration, but covered they are and it’s a marked improvement.
Tropical fruit, hazelnuts, malty sweetness, ash, peat, citric acid, bubblegum copper, and spirit. It’s not deep or complex, but it’s miles above where it used to be. No more sucking on a flat orange soda while chewing on some Big League Chew.
Medium fade of peat, charred malt, buttered popcorn and copper.
BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Not fully balanced, light thin body and a smooth feel.
The latest iteration of the Bastille 1789 Blended Whisky is actually not bad. The aroma is reminiscent of a dried fruit trail mix while the palate is like a smoked version of the same. The overall character of it sits somewhere along the lines of a coppery smoked fruit. In a lot of ways it reminds me of the G. Rozelieures Fume or the G. Rozelieures Tourbe with the peat coming through more dry and woody than the inky peat of an Islay.
Before retrying the Bastille 1789 Blended Whisky and trying the Bastille 1789 Single Malt I held no hope for this distillery. I couldn’t understand how they were going to survive putting out what they did so it’s great to see them turning it around. To avoid the flat orange soda and bubblegum first release look at the bottling code on the bottle and make sure it was bottled after 2012 (BTL 11/25/15 11:06).
SCORE: 81/100 (B-)
*Disclosure: This Bastille 1789 Blended Whisky was graciously sent to me by the company for the purposes of this review. The views, opinions, and tasting notes are 100% my own.
Bastille 1789 Blended Whisky Review - Score Breakdown
- Nose - 81
- Palate - 81
- Finish - 81
- Balance, Body & Feel - 81
Bastille 1789 Blended Whisky won’t blow you away, but this peated recipe isn’t terrible.