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Issue 126 - The Hunt for La Bagosse

Whisky Magazine Issue 126
March 2015


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The Hunt for La Bagosse

The elusive Acadian moonshine

Do we look like cops? That waitress is studying us like we're here to make a bust.” Suddenly, she strides over, a mile-wide grin erasing her scowl. She recognises Blair – from TV she thinks – and she's giving us the royal treatment. “I'm Kim,” she gushes, before suggesting Blair try a local amber ale. “Louis XVII from Petit Sault Brewery. Brewed in Edmundston.” Her timing is excellent. Tonight, here at ‘Le Deck' in Edmundston, New Brunswick, we're feeling quite deflated.

Official histories tell us that in 1793, King Louis XVII ascended to the throne of France while still a child, after his father, Louis XVI, was guillotined. Two and a half years later, young Louis himself died, head and body still attached, ‘of scrofula.' Rumours of his escape, achieved by burying a royal stunt double in his unmarked grave, linger on. Such rumours have great currency in Edmundston where locals are convinced that fleeing France, King Louis XVII, incognito, spent the rest of his days spawning in nearby St. Hilaire.

Kim sets the beer named after Louis in front of us.

“What are you doing here in Edmundston?” She asks.

“Looking for La Bagosse,” I reply innocently, still staring at the menu.

“Did you find any?”

“No, but we came close. We found three guys who knew everything about it, except where to get some.”

In Petit-Paquetville, four hours east on the Gulf of St. Lawrence, artisanal Distillerie Fils du Roy use the name Grande Bagosse for a leg...

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