T.O.S. is a small artisan distillery in the heart of barley country in the Hauts-de-France, the northernmost region in France. Hauts-de-France is a diverse region, blending historic Flemish culture with the influences of generations of immigrants who came to the area looking for work. The team at T.O.S. is a direct reflection of these influences, combining restoration, revitalization, and innovation to create one of the most exciting craft spirits projects in France.
The small team of four friends began as brewers, founding the Brasserie Saint Germain Brewery in their hometown of Aix-Noulette over twenty years ago. The team consists of Katy Gravina, Stéphane and Vincent Bogaert, and Hervé Descamps. The brewery was founded by the two brothers, Stéphane and Vincent, and their friend Hervé, who all have deeply-rooted Flemish origins. When Katy joined the team in 2017 as T.O.S. Master Distiller, they installed a still on “the other side” (hence T.O.S. Distillerie) of the brewery’s walls with the mission to distill the area’s legendary grain.
T.O.S. first began by producing single malt whisky. Their approach is both place-based and quality-focused. Rather than creating whisky in France’s traditional distilling regions, they started with their local region’s terroir (grains, water, climate), bringing their fermentation and distillation techniques to the land. Being thoughtful in every aspect of the production, they prioritize local and sustainable ingredients over imported ingredients with an organic label.
They work with two nearby malters to source the barley for their flagship single malt whisky, Artesia. After a natural, slow eight-day fermentation, the whisky is single-distilled in a Holstein copper alembic still, seeing both pot and column distillation. Artesia is aged in both ex-Bourbon casks and new French oak barrels to create an elegant, lithe whisky that expresses French terroir through a classic whisky lens.
Flavor Profile: Fragrant notes of ripe pear, sweet potato, and toasted malts. On the palate, gentle baking spices fill out the stewed fruit and golden raisin profile, with a late tail of pu-erh tea and fermented grains.
Usage Notes: Drink neat or with a small amount of filtered water.