At the end of the great path of stars, what does the pilgrim find? He wore an unsurpassed dream charge that guided him infallibly over too long seaside routes. Indifferently, patiently and inexorably, the moon will soon illuminate the night, as it governs the tide that covers and discovers the short grass and abandoned paths around the Mount. The meeting will take place, after the exhausting rain, around the apple that burns the heart without consuming it. It's time to untie the shackles to better curl up in the loose cloak. The wicks that twist are bonds of silk and tenderness, as the attachments of childhood: they bring out the memories and reborn to a life where tears, once made of tiredness and nostalgia, become precious stones.
Pilgrimage in the south-west
In the Middle Age, the paths of Saint-Jacques led pilgrims to Compostela. The traveler leaving Normandy passed by the Mont Saint-Michel, having made a stop at the village of La Gautraie. There, he stopped under the apple tree of Laure to drop a tear, before resuming the road.
Laure was a shepherdess in Mount Bay. During the spring, a pilgrim named Gilles stopped at La Gautraie. He was a street vendor of pictures and ribbons. He gave Laure his most beautiful ribbon of silk, a vermilion red ribbon that emphasized the full, fresh lips he had already kissed twice.
On a beautiful summer afternoon, Gilles kissed Laure a third time and left for Saint-Jacques, promising to return in the winter with a new ribbon that would seal their engagement.
This year, at the return of the pilgrimage, the tide took him, at the height of the “Grouin's Spike”. Only a vermilion ribbon embroidered with the name of Laure was found.
Laure tied the red ribbon to the branch of an apple tree. Arriving at the Grouin’s Spike, she cried for her pilgrim. Legend has it that an exceptional tidal bore appears and take her away.
Since that day, the pilgrims on their way to Compostela who pass by La Gautraie stop at Laure’s apple tree. They attach bottles filled with a tear, and all the bottles shine in the sun in memory of lovers. It is also said that when the tidal bore rises on a moonlit night, one can see two silhouettes hugging each other at the end of the Grouin’s Spike.
Calvados aged 8 years, produced in the South of Manche in Normandy. aged in oak barrels with a finishing in Brandy Barrel. Bottled in Saint-James, in Single Apple's chai.
pilgrimage in the usa
In the Garden of Eden sprouts a forbidden fruit
Its smooth skin, greedy, and its perfumed juice
The man no longer holding, cheerfully bitten it
Winning knowledge from lost paradise
In an English garden grows a sloppy apple tree
Newton sits there looking at the clouds.
The fruit falls and reveals, laid bare,
The secrets of heaven, Jupiter and Venus
In a Norman garden the fruits are picked up
The barrels are filled, time can flow
The science of juice finally triumphed
The man is with the apple finally reconciled
Calvados aged 8 years, produced in the South of Manche, in Normandy. Aged in oak barrels with a finishing in bourbon barrel, bottled In Saint-James in Single Apple's chai.
pilgrimage in the highlands
The river is barrely a stream when it crosses the hamlet. But very quickly it widens enough so that flat-bottomed barges can push into the small town, a few kilometers downstream. This is where the barrels of whiskey are loaded, which will then be sold in Glasgow, Edinburgh and even, in good years, to London. Alcohol has never crossed the Channel yet - production is too low, and there are enough local amateurs.
The life of the hamlet near the river was punctuated by the activity of Benedictine Ulf McDappel’s pharmacy. He had come on pilgrimage twenty years ago to rebuild the old chapel and its cloister. He then converted part of the building into a pharmacy and took up residence there. Both a priest and healer, Ulf distilled a powerful whiskey, appreciated in the region for its unusual scent, mixed with peat, fruit and honey. But above all, Ulf imported into the secret a famous “eau de vie” of apple from Normandy, discovered during his pilgrimage. With her, he produced unique assemblies. The high purity of the river water, clear and fresh, added a slightly mineral taste characteristic of the region. At that time people liked stories, and told that Ulf was a bit of a wizard, and that he had learned from fairies magic formulas that gave his product that exceptional taste.
Ulf did nothing to dispel his reputation as a wizard. It must be said that he never moved without his lynx. The animal had a beige dress so bright that it looked almost golden. He followed his master everywhere. At first we were scared. But childrens had been attracted by the soft, clumsy appearance of the animal, which had proved much more sociable than its master. He let himself be caressed and hugged, he rolled in the grass, never showed neither teeth nor claws. Except once. When a drunken laborer had quarreled at Ulf on a Saturday night at the pub; we did not remember what triggered the incident. The man took out a knife and approached the old pilgrim. He had not seen the lynx lying on the chair near the window. Suddenly his eyes had been blinded by the sharp claws of the animal. He had sobered immediately; and since then he had not drunk a single drop. In the hamlet, Ulf's reputation as a sorcerer had grown stronger.
The story of the animal had slowly spread out of the hamlet to the city downstream. One day, a passing hunter had heard it, perhaps on one of the barges that went up the river to load new casks of whiskey. On the lookout for a new trophy, he set out on a quest for the animal. It only took him a few days to confirm his existence, and to find out where to find it. It happened in the evening, on the way to the pharmacy, the day of the autumnal equinox. The man was bad shooter. The first bullet hit Ulf in the chest. The rifle did not shoot anymore. The lacerated hunter's body was found near his weapon. Ulf's face was wet. Some say the rain had fallen during the night, but since the hunter's body was dry, it seemed hard to believe. It is more probable that, by saying goodbye to his master, the lynx cried.
We never saw the lynx again. The whiskey distilled on the day of Ulf's death proved exceptional. Since then, all whiskey distilled on the day of the autumnal equinox has been named after the “tear of the lynx”.
Apple Brandy produced, aged in whisky barrel and bottled in Saint-James, in Single Apple's chai.
Single Cask -
Pèlerinage EN ANDALOUSIE
Il y a longtemps, très longtemps, quand le Mont Saint-Michel n’était encore qu’un îlot désertique battu par les vents et hanté, à la nuit tombée, par les étranges silhouettes des pélicans et des albatros qui en avaient fait leur port d’attache, un dragon arriva dans le village de La Gautraie.
C’était un dragon formidable. Ses lourdes écailles vertes, sa crête orange, et ses ailes transparentes comme celles des libellules imposèrent d’emblée le respect. Le feu violent qui s’échappait de sa gueule à chaque expiration lui valut sans tarder la réputation de monstre redoutable. Les villageois, manquant d’imagination, furent terrorisés et voulurent que le monstre aille souffler sa fournaise ailleurs.
On consulta les oracles, les druides et les entrailles de poulet, et, sans surprise, il apparut que seul le sacrifice d’une vierge permettrait d’apaiser la bête. On espérait qu’une fois son tribut reçu, le dragon, satisfait, s’envolerait lourdement vers d’autres cieux, de préférence lointains.
C’est ainsi que par une froide matinée de novembre, une jeune fille s’avançait le coeur gros vers la tanière du monstre. Elle avait ramassé dans le chemin creux une pomme, une des dernières de la saison, peut être comme un talisman dérisoire pour la protéger du sort immanquablement funeste qui l’attendait.
Le lendemain, le monstre était parti.
On ne revit jamais le dragon, ni la jeune fille. Les bonnes femmes du village racontèrent que la bête avait dévoré l'enfant et, repue, elle s’était envolée pour semer la terreur ailleurs, loin de La Gautraie. Elles avertirent leur progéniture que le moindre écart de langage ou de comportement ramènerait le monstre et exigerait de nouveaux sacrifices humains. Les garnements firent montre de retenue, et le calme régna de nouveau dans le village.
Mais un pèlerin qui passait à proximité de la tanière du dragon le jour du sacrifice raconta une toute autre histoire.
Une larme perla dans les yeux du monstre lorsque la jeune fille lui tendit la pomme en offrande. L’enfant enlaça le dragon avant de monter sur son dos et de s’envoler avec lui. A la nuit tombée, le pèlerin jura que c’était leur silhouette qui se détachait sur l’îlot du Mont Saint Michel, parmi celle des pélicans et des albatros.
Calvados 12 ans d'age, affiné et embouteillée à Saint-James dans le Chais de Single Apple.
Single Cask (Oloroso Cask, Pedro Ximenes Cask)
En Normandie l'hiver, la nuit qui tombe n'est pas douce sur les routes de solitude. Qui, de la Lune et des étoiles, est le guide le plus sûr pour celui qui marche au creux des chemins ? A un détour d'une allée, proche de l'étape, l'arbre fabuleux attend ; il dispense ses merveilles au pèlerin en quête de saveurs nouvelles, des fruits forts et savoureux comme des lèvres fraîches. Le froid aiguisé provoque les larmes ; mais l'homme pressent qu'elles ne sont que le prélude à une goutte subtile et ardente qu'une distillation patiente a épurée. Il pourra alors poser son sac, échanger un sourire, passer de longues heures à écouter ce que dit la nuit, et à rêver.
Calvados 10 ans d'age, produit avec 50% de pommes et 50% de poires, vieilli en ancien fut de Calvados puis affiné consécutivement en ancien fut de Cognac et de Bourbon
Pèlerinage par trois chemins