Burgundy is home to one of the world's most specialized whiskey experts: Michel Couvreur. This family business is known as one of the great in the world of malt whisky; their vision is revolutionary rather than traditional. Michel Couvreur looked far beyond the region of origin or the expertise of the distiller in question. For Couvreur, originally Belgian, barrel maturation was the essence of great whisky. In 1978 he settled in Burgundy, the village of Bouze lès Beaune. The word Bouze has to do with water and for good reason: the hills are saturated with water, making the cellars very cool and damp.
With a form of 'cross-pollination', Michel Couvreur brings two worlds together. On the one hand, the young, fiery distillates from selected distillers from Scotland. On the other side, the ancient wine-soaked barrels from different wine regions. Maison Michel Couvreur maintains close contacts with top houses such as Niepoort (Oporto) and Toro Albalá (Montilla Moriles). They also work with old Sherry casks and casks in which Vin Jaune (Jura) matured earlier. These barrels, often many decades old, are transported to Burgundy to be filled with clear, very young Scottish Malt Whisky. The filling of these precious old barrels is done solely with 'drop pressure'. So it is gravity that moves the Malts and not a pump. Then they are 'forgotten' to ripen in peace for a long time.
This partly takes place in the basement, located under and next to the house, with a unique temperature and humidity. The maturation cellar opposite the house was completed in 2019. From where distribution will be arranged. All year round, people are looking for and buying very old barrels that are transported with great care from the wine estates to Burgundy. Couvreur is also experimenting with alternative forms of ripening, for example in terracotta amphorae. There are different maturation times, 12 years, 25 years and much longer.
When the moment of bottling comes, it is filled directly from the barrel, without filtering. The signature square, hand-corked bottles are finally hand lacquered and labeled before being sold. It goes without saying that this is not a 'mass company' but a small-scale producer.
Michel Couvreur past away in 2013, but his business is continued by his wife Martha, his daughter Alexandra, her husband Cyril Deschamps and the brilliant cellar master Jean-Arnaud Frantzen, who propagate the Couvreur philosophy.
These beautiful and unique Malts are now finally for sale in the Netherlands, until recently you could only see them in the top gastronomy of France and at a single top specialist in the retail sector.