Rye spirit from the French Alps introduced to UK bars


A new spirit made from rye harvested and distilled in the heart of the French Alps has been released in the UK by bar and drinks specialist Xavier Padovani.

Vulson White Rhino Rye, which is made with 100% organic rye by distiller Domaine des Hautes Glaces, is being introduced through premium spirits company Speciality Brands.

The spirit is produced in small live-flame onion-shape stills and is rested for a summer and a winter season before being bottled at the Domaine des Hautes Glaces at 41% ABV.

Xavier previously worked for William Grant & Sons, launching Monkey Shoulder whisky and then working for eight years as global brand ambassador for Hendrick’s Gin.

For the past two years, he has run his own brand-building agency Orfeus as well as being part of the team behind Experimental Cocktail Club in London, Paris and New York.

He said: “Rye has returned in recent years – it’s quickly becoming the darling of American and UK bartenders. Once just found in classic cocktails, it’s now seeing a resurgence as a must-stock behind the bar. However, distilleries are often out of stock and there is a market hungry for more.

“Vulson White Rhino Rye is an entirely new experience – one that is found at a small sustainable farm distillery located 1,000 metres in the French Alps.”

Fred Revol, whisky maker and founder of the Domaine des Hautes Glaces, added: “At the Domaine, we strive to offer a French interpretation of the famous North American whiskey: a rye unique in terroir and haute couture spirit, a liquid which speaks volumes through its taste and origin.”

Vulson White Rhino Rye is a named after Marcus Vulson de la Colombière, a French heraldist, poet and alchemist and the builder of the castle where the distillery is located, dating back to 1616.

Last month, Xavier and Fred visited cocktail bars in London, Edinburgh, Leeds and Manchester for a series of master classes introducing Vulson White Rhino Rye for the first time to the UK bar scene.

Speciality Brands will distribute Vulson in the UK and it will be available in select restaurants, bars and off-premise outlets in 700ml bottles.

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