Alfred Giraud was a Frenchman who worked in the Cognac industry. He and his father began a family legacy that spans five generations. The Giraud men served as coopers, cellar masters and blenders.
The Giraud family now focuses all their experience on the making of their own malt whisky brand. A dedication to craftsmanship and innovation sees traditional methods used to create something new.
As well as distilling spirit themselves, they also source stock from other French distilleries.
The whisky is bold and uncompromising yet also refined and balanced. Cognac casks impart unique flavours to the spirit. Common tasting notes include vanilla, fresh oak and white grape.
Whisky is produced using 100% French barley. The grain is malted in the Malterie des Hautes Vosges, a micro-facility co-owned by the Giraud family.
Distilling takes pace at the Distillerie de Saint-Palais, a joint venture between the Giraud and Nau families.
Cognac casks are combined with new French and American oak casks. Some of the French oak comes from a Limousin forest owned by Andre Giraud. Casks that previously held other French wines and spirits are used to create experimental new varieties.
The core range consists of two distinct expressions: Heritage and Harmonie. Each was blended by Master Blenders Georges Clot and Gaetan Mariolle. The brand also produces Exploratory Blends using ex-wine casks like Sauternes and Robinia. Special limited editions, such as Intrigue, are created by blending small batches of single malts.
The Master Blenders use a reduction process, more commonly found in Cognac. Small amounts of water are periodically added to the cask. This reduces the strength and gives the team greater control over the character of the finished product.
Louis Giraud was born into a winemaking family in 1857. As an adult, he worked as a cooper in a Maison de Cognac. Prior to his death, he trained his son, Alfred, beginning a legacy that continues today.
Alfred left the old Maison to serve in WWI, where he was captured and held as a POW. Upon his release, Alfred returned to France where he became a Cellar Master, a position he held until 1954.
Like his father before him, Alfred spent six years training his son Andre, who took over as Cellar Master in 1960. Andre held the position for 30 years, before retiring to Limousin, a region famed for its forests.
Jean-Pierre Giraud spent many years working in Cognac. He held several jobs, including Managing Director from 1986 to 1992. His son, Phillipe, left France in 1995 to work with Scotch whisky brands. There he developed a passion for the spirit and returned to France to combine his knowledge with his family’s experience, creating a new and unique French whisky brand with his father.