As you might already know, we are featuring one of our distilleries each month. We’ll give you some information on their background, their history and their products. We will also offer you a chance to explore these products – if you want to find out how, scroll down to the bottom of this article, you will find all neccessary information there.
Today, we will continue this series with a quite small, yet sympathetic distillery in Fougerolles, France: Paul Devoille.
The history of the Paul Devoille distillery
1859: The distillery was founded by Xavier Devoille. His son, Paul Devoille, was very dedicated to developing the distillery, and worked hard on its growth. This is why up until this day, the distillery is named after him. Paul Devoille was a very important person in Fougerolles, he held the position of the major for many years.
1925: Paul Devoille left the distillery in the hands of his son-in-law, Raymond Gauttefroy, whose passion for distilling was so big, that he could ensure the survival of the business through another generation.
1972: Raymond retired, and decided to pass on the ownership of the distillery: To his own son-in-law, Jaques Veillet. He recognized the change in demand for spirits; consumers now preferred sweet liqueurs over eau-de-vie. The spirits business was tough at this time of the 19th Jentury, and a lot of distilleries went bancrupt or were struggling.
1986: Due to the bad financial position the distillery was in, Jaques Veillet decided to sell the distillery to an experienced business man, who already invested into a couple of other distilleries inside and outside on France. René Miscault bought the distillery, and made some rapid administrational changes. He also expanded their product range, and opened the distillery for visitors to the public. These measures may seem drastic, however, they saved the distillery in the end. Today, Hugues Miscault, the son of René Miscault, runs the distillery.
Absinthe distillation at Paul Devoille
Just like over 100 years ago, the wormwood is still stored in a spacious attic of the building of the distillery. The room where absinthes are distilled, is separated from the rooms where all other Devoille products are produced. Although the equipment used in the distillery is quite modern, the ways of making their products are still very traditional. The wormwood grows in a growhouse until it is old enough to be planted in the fields around Fougerolles. The harvesting of the wormwood is done by hand.
The most popular absinthe coming from Devoille is probably the Libertine. It is made after a recipe from 1894, that René Miscault is said to have found himself. The basis to this recipe is a mixture of maceration and distillation. Every plant is macerated on its own, and distilled afterwards. Then all the different distillates are being mixed together and macerated one more time, to give the Absinthe its green colouring.
The alembics and distillation utilities may be modern, yet Devoille makes absinthe from a century-old recipe.
Paul Devoilles’s absinthes
Their probably most popular absinthes, apart from the Libertines, and the Enigma Verte and Enigma Blanche. Absinthe Soixante-Cinq is a pretty interesting absinthe as well, with a quite spicy smell combined with a fruityness from the wine-alcohol base. Certainly, there are a lot of other spirits produced at Paul Devoille, such as eau-de-vies and liqueurs. From plum to strawberry, you can find nearly all of the common flavours.
One of their latest inventions is unique to this day: Called Absinthe Creations, the distillers had the idea of enabling absintheurs to mix their own absinthe, according to their personal taste, at home. Therefore, Paul Devoille will be selling sets of tubes that contain alcoholic distillates of each of the herbs you find in absinthe. These kits are now available at Absinthes.com!