Renowned distillery based north of Toulouse, Gilles Victor will market its whiskeys from next year as well as its latest creation, a premium organic Jamaican rum.
How far can Gilles Victor’s passion take him? As much as possible, lovers of premium spirits hope! The artistic cutter, who put this passion on hold for some time, discovered another five years ago: the distillery. A man who never does things by halves therefore built his own, named straw bale because he was built into straw bales. And quickly, with his first spirits, especially a beautiful selection of gin, the craftsman made a name for himself. Its first whiskeys, some of which are aged in majestic Andalusian casks from Pedro Ximénez, and others more local (read box), will be on the market next year. But the adventure doesn’t stop there. A new chapter is currently being written with another alcohol that should also be talked about: rum. Gilles Victor is proud to have become, he says, “the sole owner, in France, of a distillation of double-stranded Jamaican rum”.
A palace of aromas
To better understand this language, Gilles Victor distills a few explanations: “the principle of double retorts makes it possible to carry out a distillation with additional steps, which ensures the development of the maximum of aromas and to obtain high-quality rums of the medium type. and high esters.” His is a so-called molasses rum. “So it’s not an agricultural rum made directly from sugarcane. Here it is the molasses, this residue from the production of cane sugar that is used”, Gilles Victor clarifies. This molasses is a blackish liquid with a high sugar content, which emits an impressive aroma of licorice. It is this, together with the water and the yeast , which is put into the still, which then does the work of transformation. Gilles Victor’s still is unique, made to measure, according to his plans kept secret, because it is this personal touch and details of the shapes and joints that make the difference. In the end, it gives one thousand liters of liquid about one hundred liters of rum at each distillation At Straw Bale no less than six hundred bottles of rum are planned for the start of the year.
Due to his growing success, Gilles Victor has already acquired another cellar to store his barrels in. He does not rule out also integrating a second, larger distillery, still with an ethic that has become the DNA of the straw bale. This requirement, Gilles Victor imposes it from the raw material, organic, selected by his own care. It has extended it to its packaging with a reduction in the weight of its bottles, which it also wants to make 100% recyclable from next year.
whiskey and negrette
Gilles Victor has teamed up with a well-known winemaker, Marc Penavayre, from Plaisance, to age whiskeys in barrels with Négrette, the flagship grape variety of the Fronton vineyard. According to the two friends, the first results are “surprising”. “We smell notes of raisins, figs, spices, it’s a nice surprise”. with “very promising” aging in amphorae according to Gilles Victor.