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Maison Benjamin Kuentz

Interview of a whisky publisher

Share your philosophy with us.
“What if the French had invented whiskey? Which direction would we have taken?” That is my philosophy. That of creating whiskeys that reflect our terroir and our know-how in wines and spirits. And that also reflect my personal tastes and my sharing desires. I define myself as ‘publisher of French whiskey’, starting from the writing of a recipe that I am trying to create, and that I realize with a different partner depending on the gustatory result I seek.

Benjamin Kuentz

Your creations bear poetic and evocative names. Who is your muse?
I am inspired by the encounters I make across France. The names I give to my whiskeys have to evoke them to signify the very essence of the whiskey that I wanted to create. And so, ‘(D’un) Verre printanier’ will bring you the floral freshness of the nature in full rebirth, ‘Aux particules vines’ will be a reference to the work of the vine growers I met, while ‘Le Guip’ will take on the codes of ship carpentry of the eponymous shipyard of Brest that I visit regularly.

What is your strongest emotion in tasting?
It is a sum of continuous emotions that would form only one in the end. I'm going to tell you about my debut as a French whiskey publisher: the first bottle of (D'un) Verre Printanier opened, whose freshness is a reference to my first strong sensation in whiskey. It was in 2001, in a pub in Montreal named L’Île Noir. A Scotch whiskey, very clear, very fresh, with a taste of freshly fallen hazelnut, of which I unfortunately forgot the name.

Interview by Sylvia van der Velden
Crédit photo : William Beaucardet