With around 165 countries watching, what is the second biggest cycling race in the world, I don't think I can remember a time when so much focus was on our small patch of the world.
Anywhere you looked you were surrounded by a sea of pink. Shops, clothes, painted bikes, ribbons around trees....it was everywhere. In addition, to the colour displayed, the public embraced the 3 days of competition by matching the explosion of colour with an explosion of excitement and encouragement.
It only takes to watch any of the highlights to see that our response to this mainland Europe event was one of true enjoyment, which leads me onto my latest whisky review.
If only my recent sample of a "mainland Europe whisky event" was able to be enjoyed and embraced with the same vigour that our general public, and myself, gave the Giro.
The whisky I am talking about is of course the one mentioned in the title - Eddu "Grey Rock".
This little known whisky comes from a French distillery named "Distillerie des Menhirs". The distillery is located in the North West region of Brittany, close to a town called Plomelin. Founded in 1986 it initially produced other spirits until it released the first of it's Eddu whisky range in 2002.
Using only cereals and products grown in Brittany, during the whisky making process, leads them to include the rather unusual buckwheat and this particular release, the "Grey Rock", contains 30% buckwheat.
The spirit is double distilled and blended before maturing in oak casks in Brittany's mild climate. It has been bottled at 40% ABV and I've no doubt it has been chill filtered and added with colour.
A visit to the Distillerie des Menhirs' website reveals some interesting tasting notes. They would suggest that "Eddu "Grey Rock" has woody and broom-flower flavours. Fruity orange and apricot notes, slight mineral sea-breeze aromas with a subtle touch of cinnamon. A balance of flavours and an astounding persistence on the palate."
But they don't stop there, they continue by informing us that sampling Eddu "Grey Rock" neat is "very pleasing on the palate".
There is only one way to advise you all about this liquid that is described as "whisky"....stay well clear!!
I will concede that the nose has a little clean crisp fruit about it but the experience just descends into farce. For what it's worth, here's my notes:
Nose - Light and a bit plasticky. Clean, crisp fruit. Not overly complex and the alcohol can be spotted amongst what little flavours there are. One particular note is that of dry apple cider. With a bit of time I picked up a hint, and I stress "a hint", of smoke and dried fruit.
Palate - FLAT!! Young alcohol spirit that tastes more like vodka than anything I know to be whisky. With a lot of searching, around my mouth, I can only find some oak wood and peppery heat.
Finish - Now it just turns into to out and out vodka. Nothing like whisky at all and just feels like it needs a lot of any mixer to make it palatable. Once the horribleness eases away you can eventually pick up some of the fruit that was on the nose but what's the point of putting yourself through hell just to get a weak, flat, fruit flavour?
I could not have been more happy to finish this glass and can only conclude by quoting a famous D-Ream song - "Things Can Only Get Better".
Until next time (when we will have better whisky to talk about),