The story of Black Mountain begins in 2011, when 4 passionate friends came up with the idea to use the exceptional waters of a high altitude spring (1000m) located within a natural wonder, the national park of Haut Languedoc, which will be the location of the future distillery, meant to be built by 2018.
Before the distillery starts operating, and with the aim to demonstrate its know-how, the founding team at Black Mountain Compagnie has launched three blended whiskies, finished in the best French spirits casks and named “Black Mountain Selection”.
BM N°1, a long matured blend, was named Best European Blended Whisky at the 2015 edition of The World Whiskies Awards. BM N°2, a soft and fruity whisky was awarded with a silver medal at the IWSC 2016. The BM Notes Fumées which adds smoky notes to its floral and fruity flavor, was awarded Best Blend of France and the World Whiskies Awards 2016.
Black Mountain is also building its reputation with maturation experimentations.
The company has partnered with shipping company Trans Oceanic Wind Transport (TOWT) for a one-of-a-kind sea maturation experience. After departing from the banks of Bordeaux last october on board an old lugger called “Corentin“, a cask of Black Mountain No.1 has been transported to a magnificent English vessel, the “Greyhound Lugger” to continue its journey at sea between France, southern England and the Scilly isles. The cask is to spend a total of six months out at sea, navigating through winds and tides; an exceptional adventure which is due to come to an end this fall.
The main goal of the whole operation is to experiment with sea maturation the slow movements of the boat making the whisky gently swirl 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 currently travelling at sea, the amount of whisky that would be bottled for a future limited release!
Cédric Leprette, co-founder of Black Mountain, says, “I am extremely concerned about the environment, and so are my associates. I also like this conquering, adventurous, almost chivalric spirit! I find this whole collaboration with TOWT, reviving sailing merchant navy in 2015 and introducing the initiative as a pioneering concept, simply awesome.”
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 the British have discovered the positive impact of prolonged wood maturation on whisky.”