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Distillerie Warenghem – Route de Guingamp, Boutill, 22300 Lannion



info@distillerie-warenghem.com


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Our distillery

HISTORY OF THE DISTILLERY

1 july 1900

Founding of the distillery by Léon Warenghem and creation of the Elixir d'Armorique

In the late 19th century, the distillery was founded by the Warenghem family in Lannion, on the pink granite coast. Léon Warenghem, the founder, originally from northern France, and his heirs, enjoyed their first success with the distillery through plant liqueurs. The Elixir d'Armorique, a blend of 35 plants, is the distillery's flagship product, having received numerous honours at international trade fairs over the years, and it continues to enjoy an international reputation, particularly across the Atlantic. The Elixir is still produced today at the distillery.

1919

Henri Warenghem succeeds his father and continues to work with liqueurs.

Henri Warenghem continues the work developing liqueurs, expanding the distillery's product range with mint, blackcurrant and even kirsch liqueurs. The Distillery makes a name for itself through the network of wholesalers and wine traders in Western France.

1967

Paul-Henri Warenghem joins forces with Yves Leizour. The distillery is relocated to the site of the Rest Avel natural spring.

In 1967, Paul-Henri, the latest generation of Warenghems, joins forces with Yves Leizour. They diversify the range of historic liqueurs and focus development towards supermarkets in Brittany. In 1974, Paul-Henri Warenghem and Yves Leizour move the distillery from the town centre to the outskirts of Lannion, right by the Rest Avel spring which means ``dwelling of the wind'`` in Breton.

1981

Gilles Leizour acquires the distillery with the objective of developing Breton spirits

In the early 80s, Gilles Leizour, a trained pharmacist, succeeds his father. Eager to revive the distillery, he decides to focus the company's activities on regional products, notably creating the Melmor chouchen.

1983

The first whisky distillations

Always searching for improvements and stability for the distillery, and encouraged by Bernard Le Pallec, sales manager, Gilles Leizour decides to take a daring gamble: to launch the first 100% Breton - and French - whisky.

1987

Launch of WB - Whisky Breton

After extensive trials, the WB Breton whisky, a blend made up of 25% malt whisky and 75% grain whisky, is successfully marketed in 1987.

1992

Creation of the Fine Bretagne Gilles Leizour

Maintaining the desire to commercialise the richness of the Breton terroir, Gilles Leizour, a passionate advocate of this emblematic Breton product, decides to develop his own Fine Bretagne by using a 100-year-old copper column still. Shortly after, the first distillates are produced from the still giving birth to the Fine Bretagne Gilles Leizour, followed in 1994 by the KER Pommeau de Bretagne AOC.

1993

Construction of the 1st distillery in France dedicated solely to whisky

In 1993, fine-tuning his expertise, Gilles Leizour orders construction of a distillery that is solely dedicated to whisky, equipped with a pair of copper stills inspired by the Scottish distilleries.

1998

Launch of the Pommeau de Bretagne Gilles Leizour and of Armorik, the first single malt whisky from France

Armorik, the first single malt from Brittany and France, is officially launched in 1998. This single malt quickly becomes the driving force of the distillery.

2001

Introduction of brewing and commercialisation facilities for Bier Breizh (Breton beer).

Inspired by the distillery's technical know-how, Gilles Leizour expands the distillery's brewing facilities to produce beer. Bier Breizh is launched shortly afterwards, subsequently renamed Diwall.

2013

Armorik Double Maturation voted ``Best European Single Malt``

Armorik Double Maturation was voted Best European whisky at the World Whiskies Awards in 2013, then became a double gold medal winner in 2014 at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. The other editions of Armorik, Armorik Classic and Armorik Sherry, will also receive awards and boost the prestige of this single malt. This international recognition enables Armorik single malt to be exported across the globe (Sweden, USA, Canada, Australia, Japan and Western Europe).

2015

Creation of the geographical indication Whisky Breton and of the AOC Fine Bretagne

Fully aware of the need to protect Breton know-how and terroir, Gilles Leizour commences the process of having the Fine Bretagne recognised by the INAO designations of origin institute, with the support of the Les 17 Hermines association. The creation of the AOC Fine Bretagne is due recognition of Breton know-how in the processing of apples. The distillery participates in the creation of the Whisky Breton geographical indication, helping to ensure that all Whisky Breton is properly mashed, fermented, distilled and aged in Brittany.

2016

David Roussier continues the family adventure

Gilles Leizour retires in 2016 and David Roussier, his son-in-law, who joined the distillery in 2009, succeeds him at the head of the company, continuing the work in hand.

2019

Construction of an additional cellar and opening of a new Armorik reception area

Major works are carried out to construct 2 new cellars, tripling the amount of whisky able to be stored for ageing, as well as a new reception area, projection room, exhibition area and tasting room. The Distillery is designated a ``Living Heritage Company``. Awarded by the French State, this label recognises French companies achieving excellence in terms of artisanal and industrial know-how.

An independent and family-run Breton distillery

Founded in Lannion on the pink granite coast in the department of Côtes d’Armor, the Warenghem Distillery has been an independent and family-owned producer of Breton spirits for over 100 years. We distil, blend and bottle our products directly on-site at the distillery.

At the distillery, we are conscious of our global responsibility in terms of satisfaction among customers, employees, partners and the local community. This is reflected by the particular importance we attach to the following principles:

The primacy of the human factor, the environment and quality;
Long-term decision-making;
Sustainable and shared growth;
Full commitment to the local community.

Constructed in 1900 to produce high quality liqueurs, our distillery enjoys over 100 years of artisanal experience and know-how. Fully committed to our terroir and its authentic products, we put all of our passion into the distillation of our Fine Bretagne AOC, the Pommeau de Bretagne AOC and the renowned Breton chouchen.

Thanks to the passion of Gilles Leizour for innovation and whisky, in 1983 the distillery became the first whisky distillery in Brittany (and in France). The inheritors of this history, the entire team at the distillery work hard to create an exceptional single malt that reflects the Breton character.

In 2019, the distillery was designated a Living Heritage Company. Awarded by the French government, this label recognises French companies achieving excellence in terms of artisanal and industrial know-how.

“Our distillery is the first whisky distillery to receive this label in France. It recognises the work of the entire team at the distillery, who work together to sustain traditional know-how while always striving for excellence.”

Brittany is our terroir

Brittany, its soil and its people have forged the identity and flavour of our products.

Committed to our region, we consider it to be an essential factor in the production of our products:

  • Our water, from a flaw in the granite directly beneath the distillery;
  • Our grains (traditional Breton wheat and organic French barley);
  • Our apples from AOC orchards located on the coast and less than 120km from the distillery, undergoing conversion to organic farming;
  • Our maritime climate unique to the northern coast of Brittany.

This is the environment that shapes the taste of our spirits.

This is why the distillery has always participated in collective initiatives to obtain official recognition of quality, notably the geographical indication of Whisky Breton and the AOCs of Pommeau de Bretagne and Fine Bretagne.

The Whisky Breton geographical indication
In 2015, the distillery participated in the creation of the Breton Whisky geographical indication, enabling all Breton whisky to be defended and promoted.  The GI also provides a guarantee of transparency for whisky lovers. All “Breton Whisky” (or “Whisky de Bretagne”) must therefore meet demanding specifications, guaranteeing its quality and the know-how of the distiller. It must have been produced from water sourced from Breton soil and have been fermented, distilled and aged in Brittany.

AOC Fine Bretagne
Highly committed to obtaining recognition for Breton know-how and products, the distillery has been seeking recognition for the Fine Bretagne by obtaining an AOC, with the support of the Les 17 Hermines association. A traditional beverage accompanying cod fishermen working in the seas off Iceland and Newfoundland, in 2015 it finally received the AOCs of “Fine Bretagne” and “Lambig de Bretagne”. To find out more: https://www.maisoncidricoledebretagne.bzh/eau-de-vie-de-cidre-de-bretagne-aoc/

AOC Pommeau de Bretagne
The Pommeau is the product of blending a must of freshly-pressed apples with a Fine Bretagne AOC of cider brandy. Known as “mutage”, this ancient know-how is now carried on by some fifteen farming or artisan professional producers throughout Brittany, including our distillery. The Pommeau de Bretagne received its AOC in 1997.