Forget the Warehouse: These Distilleries Are Aging Their Spirits Underwater

Maison Benjamin Kuentz’s Uisce de Profundi

As he explains: “It’s not a whisky to drink neat.” Comparing it to a dry white wine (petit chablis is the style he names), Kuentz’s ideal food pairing is a platter of fresh oysters, preferably from France’s windswept western coast.

While crowded with wine, Champagne, whisky, cognac and a rum, France’s Atlantic seabed is not the only deep sea cellar: in the Caribbean Sea, Cayman Spirits Co’s Seven Fathom Rum ages at depths of 42 feet (or seven fathoms) off the coast of Grand Cayman.

Cayman Spirits Co’s Seven Fathom Rum

For co-founder and co-owner Walker Romanica, the ocean was the answer to a question many spirits producers ask: how to agitate the barrel to provoke superior aging results?

Later this year, the first bottles of Baleia Gin will be taken to the seabed off the Azores, Portugal, by divers who have purchased them. “(They) will remain on the seabed for up to two years, spending, on average, 12 months collecting barnacles,” explains Baleia Drink’s founder Ali Bullock.

Baleia Gin

Along with ingredients such as juniper and citrus, the gin is made using seaweed sourced from the island — although that infusion still occurs on land, in the distillery.

Off the coast of the island of Ouessant, metropolitan France’s westernmost tip, lies a deep-sea treasure trove. Rather than a shipwrecked fortune of golden coins and jewels spilling out of chests buried in the seabed, this is a modern-day bounty: barnacle-clad bottles of Maison Benjamin Kuentz’s Uisce de Profundis, an amber-gold whisky, waiting for the right moment to be brought back to land.

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