Michel Couvreur brand logo with stylized initials MC.

Michel Couvreur

  • France
  • Michel Couvreur Overaged Malt Whisky Rated Highly
  • https://michelcouvreur-whisky.com/en/
Phone Number
  • +33 (0)3 80 26 01 46
  • 6, Place du Monument – 21 200 Bouze-Lès-Beaune, France

Assorted vintage whiskey bottles on display.

History of Michel Couvreur

Origins and Early Years

Michel Couvreur, originally from Belgium, ventured into the world of beverages by first making wine in Burgundy, France, during the 1950s. His journey into whisky began in 1964 when he moved to Scotland, driven by a deep interest in whisky manufacturing processes. This period marked the beginning of Couvreur’s extensive research into whisky, blending his experiences in both wine and whisky industries.

Philosophical Approach to Whisky Making

Couvreur’s approach to whisky was revolutionary, emphasizing the importance of the maturation process in oak casks. He believed this aspect played a crucial role in transforming grain spirit into whisky. His research led him to focus on maturing whisky in used sherry barrels, particularly those that had been used for at least 20 years for sherry production, a practice he considered essential for producing exquisite whisky.

Establishing the Distillery

In 1978, Michel Couvreur officially recorded his company for distilling whisky in Scotland. He specialized in producing unique whisky using traditional methods. One of his notable practices was using bere barley, an ancient and rare barley variety grown in Orkney, Scotland. This grain, high in protein and low in starch, was less commonly used due to its lower productivity.

Product Range and Distinctive Features

Michel Couvreur Whisky offers a diverse selection of whiskies. Their range includes young spirits like the Clearach, blended and 12-year-old single malts such as the flagship Overaged, and rare single casks like the Very Sherried, matured for over 25 years. Couvreur’s whiskies are known for their balance and distinctive aromatic identity, achieved through careful blending and the use of unusual materials like amphora and Jura Vin Jaune casks.

Legacy and Continuation

Michel Couvreur passed away in 2013, but his legacy continues under the stewardship of his family and team. They remain dedicated to his philosophy, focusing on producing around 50,000 bottles per year while adhering to traditional whisky production methods. This dedication ensures that each bottle of Michel Couvreur Whisky reflects the founder’s unique vision and commitment to quality.

Awards Won by Michel Couvreur

Michel Couvreur’s whiskies have received several notable ratings and reviews, reflecting their quality and uniqueness. Here’s a summary of some of the accolades and assessments:

Michel Couvreur Overaged Malt Whisky

This whisky has been highly rated by Wine Enthusiast, scoring 91 points. The blend consists of whiskies aged between 12 to 27 years in Couvreur’s Burgundy cellars, offering a rich and complex flavour profile.

Ratings on Whiskybase

Various expressions of Michel Couvreur’s whiskies have been rated on Whiskybase. For instance, the Blossoming Auld Sherried Single Malt Whisky has received scores ranging from the high 80s to over 90 points across different bottlings, indicating a consistently high quality.

Recognition by Experts

Michel Couvreur’s unique approach to whisky aging and blending has garnered recognition in the whisky community. The Overaged Malt Whisky, for instance, made it onto Esquire’s list of “Best Blended Scotch Whiskies” as of June 26, 2023.

  • Customer Reviews: Master of Malt, a well-known retailer, features customer reviews for Michel Couvreur’s Overaged Malt Whisky. Customers have described it as outstanding, often reserving it for special occasions due to its rarity and quality.
  • Malt Review Rating: The Michel Couvreur Overaged Malt Whisky also received a favourable rating of 8 out of 10 from Malt Review, highlighting its quality and the special aging process in sherry casks that gives it a unique flavour profile.

Michel Couvreur Tour Information and Experience

Michel Couvreur Distillery Tour Experience – Exploring the Cellars

  • Unique Aging Process: Discover the distillery’s innovative approach to aging Scotch whisky in French cellars.
  • Barrel Management: View the careful management and rotation of barrels, some aged up to 50 years, in the distillery’s humid and cold cellars.

In-depth Tasting Experience

  • Direct Barrel Tasting: Enjoy the privilege of tasting Michel Couvreur’s exquisite whiskies straight from the barrel.
  • Variety of Flavours: Experience a range of aged whiskies, including experimental batches such as those finished in clay amphora jars.

The Richness of the Tasting Room

  • Historical Ambiance: The tasting room is adorned with a collection of discontinued expressions and a selection of fine Scottish whiskies.
  • Expansion Plans: Learn about the distillery’s future plans, including introducing an aged rum line.

Commitment to Innovation and Quality

  • Local Ingredients and Terroir: Understand the distillery’s dedication to using local barley and exploring the concept of terroir.
  • Spirit Production Evolution: Appreciate the journey of whisky making from traditional techniques to new frontiers in spirit production.

Visiting the Michel Couvreur distillery is not just a tasting session but a comprehensive journey through the history and evolution of whisky and spirit production, highlighting a blend of tradition and innovation.

Flask & Barrel Review of Michel Couvreur

As a seasoned whisky collector who’s toured numerous distilleries, I’ve had my fair share of experiences. But my visit to Michel Couvreur Distillery truly stands out. I’d rate it a solid 4.7 out of 5, and here’s why.

First off, the setting in Burgundy is just picturesque. There’s something about the French region that adds a layer of charm to the whisky experience. The distillery, focusing on maturing Scotch whisky in French cellars, offers an intriguing and impressive fresh perspective.

The tour itself was top-notch. The cellars particularly struck me. They’re not your average whisky ageing environment. Humid and cool, these cellars house decades-old barrels and the attention to detail in their management is something you don’t see daily.

It’s clear that Michel Couvreur Distillery isn’t just about ageing whisky; it’s an art form to them.

Tasting the whisky straight from the barrel was a highlight. The depth and complexity of flavours were incredible. Not every day you get to taste such refined spirits in their purest form. As a collector, I appreciate the nuances of each sip, and Michel Couvreur’s offerings were exceptional.

Another aspect I admired was their openness to innovation. Learning about their plans to expand into aged rum and using local barley showed their commitment to evolving while respecting traditional methods.

What To Do Nearby Michel Couvreur

After your visit to Michel Couvreur Distillery, there’s plenty to explore in the surrounding region of Bouze-lès-Beaune, a treasure trove of culture, history, and natural beauty. Here are some recommendations for an enriching experience:

Beaune: Just a short 6 km drive from Bouze-lès-Beaune, Beaune is a must-visit. Known as the centre of the famous wine region, it offers a deep dive into the history and culture of Burgundy wines. Don’t miss the Hôtel-Dieu, a medieval hospital that’s now a museum, showcasing stunning architecture and a rich past.

Nuits-Saint-Georges: Located 17 km away, this town is a part of your journey through the wine country. It’s quieter compared to other tourist spots but still holds a charm with its vineyards and wineries.

Chateauneuf-en-Auxois: About 21 km from Bouze-lès-Beaune, this village is listed as one of France’s most beautiful. It’s perfect for those who appreciate medieval architecture and quaint, picturesque settings.

Chalon-sur-Saone: 31 km away, this town is known for its pedestrianized centre and a beautiful cathedral, offering a glimpse into the local history and culture.

Dijon: At a distance of 37 km, Dijon is not only the regional capital but also a place steeped in history and culture, offering a range of historic sites.

Autun: 38 km from Bouze-lès-Beaune, Autun is another historical site with an old town, cathedral, and Roman ruins to explore.

Saulieu: Located 48 km away, Saulieu is known for its Basilica Saint-Andoche and offers a quiet, small-town feel.

Morvan Regional Park: Also 48 km from Bouze-lès-Beaune, this natural park is a great escape for those who love unspoiled countryside and outdoor activities.

Semur-en-Auxois: 59 km away, it is one of Burgundy’s prettiest villages, offering a rich historical and cultural experience​​.

Frequently Asked Questions

What restaurants are near Michel Couvreur?

Restaurant La Bouzerotte: It has a rating of 4.7 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +33380260137. Their address is 25 Rte de Beaune, Bouze-lès-Beaune, France.

Buddys City: It has a rating of 4.0 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can contact them on their phone at +4626127713. Their address is Nygatan 24, 803 11 Gävle, Sweden.

La Clé des Sources: It has a rating of 4.6 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +33345462559. Their address is 2 Rte de Bligny, Bouze-lès-Beaune, France.

What hotels are near Michel Couvreur?

B&B HOTEL Beaune Nord: It has a rating of 4.1 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +33892707512. Their address is 20 Rue du Tacot, 21420 Savigny-lès-Beaune, France.

Le Central Boutique-Hôtel – Beaune Centre: It has a rating of 4.3 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can contact them on their phone at +33380247724. Their address is 2 Rue Victor Millot, 21200 Beaune, France.

Hôtel Kyriad Prestige Beaune Le Panorama: It has a rating of 4.0 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can contact them on their phone at +33380262217. Their address is 74 Rte de Pommard, 21200 Beaune, France.