EDDU, buckwheat whisky
A short history of Buckwheat
A plant of Asian origin introduced in Brittany in the XVth century, buckwheat or sarrasin rapidly became a staple diet because of its numerous advantages: it could grow in the poor and acidic Breton soils. Its vegetative cycle is short, sown in May, it is harvested in September. Its yield, in a period when fertilizers were still unknown, was higher than other cultivated cereals such as wheat or rye. Also harvests were not liable to tax.
All which, according to Noël Du Fail (1550), made buckwheat Brittany’s providence. In the middle of the XXth century, the practice of lime enrichment of cultivable lands almost made it disappear in favour of more productive crops such as wheat or potatoes. Today buckwheat is slowly but surely coming back and positions itself as the symbol of a region which harvests some 3,000 hectares of it per year.
An exceptional cereal
Whisky is by definition a cereal brandy. Barley, wheat, maize belong to the botanical family of graminae. Buckwheat or sarrasin, for its part, belongs to the polygonacae family, like sorrel or rhubarb.
A cereal is a plant which yields flour for human consumption
The notion of cereal thus regroups graminae and one polygonaceae : buckwheat !
Description of the plant
In summer, its green heart-shaped stalks end in clusters of white flowers which bees love to glean. Soon the stalks turn blood-red and the flowers give silver grey seeds containing a highly fragrant flour that will be used to make pancakes and... whisky !
Organic by nature, buckwheat does not like fertilizers and its culture does not need any particular treatment.
Buckwheat is gluten-free and contains:
The operation consists of in humidifying buckwheat. As soon as the buckwheatgerms get out of the seed, it is dryed so as to stop germination. During this operation, enzymes appear that will transform starch into fermentable sugars.
Milling and Mashing
Buckwheat is then cleaned and milled to produce a coarse flour or grist. This milling is introduced and mixed with hot water in a mash tun. In a few hours, a sugary liquid known as wort is obtained.
This essential step called for numerous experimentations, buckwheat being a unique ingredient. This operation consists in adding yeasts to the sweet liquid. The yeasts produce carbon dioxide and alcohol as well as a large number of substances that help produce the fragrances and the flavours of the future whisky. Fermentation takes about 48 hours and produces a liquid similar to beer, about 8% alcohol, known as wash.
This is the pivotal step in whisky production. The distillery uses two 25 hectolitre open fire stills using the double distillation principle.
The wash is pumped into the boiler and heated to the point at which it becomes vapour. The alcoholic vapours produced, accumulate in the hat before making their way in a coil through the condenser. The liquid obtained now has an alcohol level about 25%.
This part of the process lasts between 12 to 14 hours and requires a lot of care and all the « savoir faire » of the Stillman.
The best part of the spirit run is poured into oak casks for ageing.
To open up to the full, a genuine French whisky needs to grow old in French oak casks. these are top quality containers thanks to the porosity of the wood which favours the concentration of the whisky through selective evaporation. In fact, a cask is not a neutral container: little by little it lends its finest aromas, tastes and colour to the whisky.
Only the finest casks are selected for EDDU, pure buckwheat whisky. The process is long and arduous. The nosing team is made up of family members working under the guidance of our Master Blender. They check each and every cask before bottling.