Mikael Gillard speaks to us about French Spirits: Armagnac, Calvados and Cognac

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This weekend at the Adelaide French Festival, Mikael Gillard of Mind Spirits & Co, will lead a French Spirits Masterclass about cognac, armagnac and calvados. We spoke to him about the class, his work and his favourite spirits.

Image: LinkedIn


Mikael, you’re the founder of Mind Spirits & Co. Tell us about how you came to found Mind Spirits & Co.


I have been managing the national sales of the main importer of French digestives in Australia for 5 years. Passionate about distilleries & digestives, it was time for me in 2018 to establish Mind Spirits & Co. This company is about drinking less but better products, showing full traceability about each spirit.


Spirits made without colouring or sugar added to it. We can call them true spirits.


You’re running a French spirits masterclass at the Adelaide French Festival. Which French cognacs, armagnacs and calvados will you be showcasing at the masterclass?

Mind Spirits & Co. Will be showcasing :

– Raymond Ragnaud Cognac from Grande Champagne 1er cru.

– Armagnac Chateau de Laubade from the 1er cru area Bas Armagnac.

– Calvados pays d’Auge Pierre Huet, iconic distillery in Normandy, first distillery on the cider Valley.


Will there be any food pairings?


Armagnac with Chocolate.

Pierre Huet Calvados with apple desert.

Cognac with apricot or peach desert.

Calvados Pierre Huet


Who is this class best suited to?

Anyone who wants to learn about fine spirits, distilling techniques, aging processes…


What are the differences between cognac, armagnac and calvados apart from Cognac, Armagnac and Calvados being places they are made?

Proper AOC, different stills are used, different ageing techniques. Cognac & Armagnac are grape based. Calvados is Apple based.

Les AOC – image du site web Spirited Tales


What is your favourite of the three?

Cognac is really my passion in life.

I am really lucky to set up in Australia and to experience an amazing distilling revolution. Australia has opened 100 distilleries in 5 years.


If it were your last meal, which cognac, armagnac or calvados would you drink?


Raymond Ragnaud 20 years old cognac from Grande Champagne. Served with a crème brulée.

The French Spirits Masterclass is on this Sunday 13 January from 3pm on Sunday 13 January at La Buvette in the city.  Tickets cost $50 and the class goes for an hour. 

You can buy your tickets for the French Spirits Masterclass here. 


What’s your favourite French spirit?

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