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“A Small Company Doing Well”
Review of Distillery Combier

Distillery Combier
Ranked #1 of 15 Tours in Saumur
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: The Combier distillery was founded in 1834 in the Loire Valley. Since the creation of the Original Triple sec, a delicious orange liqueur made with bitter and soft orange peels, the distillery has never stopped producing distinguished liqueurs and other spirits in the same original copper stills. We offer you today a full handcrafted range of liqueurs, aperitifs, premium absinthes, syrups and organic syrups. For an english guided tour, please contact us!
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Wheelchair access
Reviewed August 18, 2013

Having been given a voucher for this tour as part of our trip on the River Loire, we were glad that we decided to use it. As it was August with half the workforce on holiday, things were running at a slower pace but all staff were expected to give a hand in the various stages of production.

This was an interesting insight into the workings of a small company which has a big name for itself. Triple Sec predates Cointreau but the product was not patented so was copied by the makers of Cointreau.

The tasting was enjoyable (naturally!) and we bought some products to sample at home.

1  Thank Ashcombe68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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29 - 33 of 126 reviews

Reviewed August 12, 2013

This small attraction is interesting to visit if you are in Saumur but probably not worth a special trip. We actually combined it with a trip to Fontevraud, managing to do both in one ( short) day, plus travelling time. The tours run every hour and a half, we were lucky and turned up by chance just 5 minutes before one was due to start. It costs 4 euros, which you may at first think is expensive for what it is, but wait... It starts in the boutique with a history of Combier and was presented in both French & English. We moved on to the distilling room, just a 30 m walk away where a further presentation was made about the actual distilling process. This was interesting and we were also offered wormwood and orange peel to sniff ( flavours used in the processes). That's it, that was the end of the tour as such...but wait, then we returned to the boutique and the guide proceeded to offer us tasters of a number of their alcoholic products including Triple sec and Absinthe ( no longer illegal)! For children there were flavoured syrups available. Also, after the tasting proper, we were also able to try a number of the none alcoholic syrups ourselves before deciding to buy, or otherwise. On balance, given the cost of a shot of liquor in a bar ( for example), 4 euros for the experience doesn't seem so bad. Obviously, the point of the exercise was to encourage us to buy some of the products; we found it wasn't at all difficult to oblige! ( There was absolutely no pressure to buy either) You can also have the various offerings wrapped as gifts if you wish, so it does offer a good opportunity for a souvenir. They have a website ( and you can buy the products online) but large chunks of the website are still ' Lorum ipsum', so not much help in trying to get information on opening times etc. Probably best to pop along and take your chances!

One other point, there is another more famous distillery in the area ( different city), brand name starting with C, that makes similar alcoholic products. Their tour prices are more expensive, but they are also daft enough to be closed on a Monday in high season - so they lost our business!

2  Thank Kangalis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 10, 2013

This is an interesting tour of a small producer of triple sec etc. in Saumur France. After the tour there is a tasting in the small store where you may buy several of their products. They are delicious!! web address for USA is www.combierusa.com

1  Thank travelingal555
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 5, 2013

We visited the Distillery Combier as part of a tour; at that hour of the morning, we were the only visitors. The distillery has an interesting history (Jean-Baptiste Combier was the inventor of triple sec some years before rival Cointreau developed their recipe) and is notable for its iron footbridge in the distilling room that was designed by Gustave Eiffel.

We saw pallets of absinthe being bottled and packaged for export around the globe; however, I was more tempted by the orange liqueurs, crèmes de fruits (I purchased a bottle of crème de cassis and the excellent crème de mûre) and Guignolet d'Anjou (a wild cherry liqueur). There are close to 50 varieties of crèmes de fruits and another 50 liqueurs in the shop, not to mention a half-dozen types of absinthe as well as another 50 non-alcoholic fruit syrups and a few food products made with Combier liqueurs. Some of the products are available in miniatures, and there are small pamphlets that have suggested cocktail preparations. Our tour guide (who gave the tour in English) was also our cashier, and she was extremely patient and more than happy to answer questions (and pour samples of anything for sale if it wasn't already out).

All of this output is even more impressive when you see the small scale of the original factory that they distill in (including ten 19th-century alembics) and the relatively small staff. All in all, this was a very pleasant (if alcoholic) way to spend a morning in Saumur!

1  Thank Bundtlust
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 9, 2013

I was a bit shocked upon entering the distillery itself, which is surprisingly small and even more surprisingly dirty. I have been to one other distillery in the states and several breweries. They have all be spotless. Because of the sugary residue, we were accompanied by discomforting number of bees during the tour. The site did not inspire me to want to purchase their product, although I have to admit, it did not deter me from participating in the tasting.

Our tour guide was very pleasant and informative. We were the only English speakers in the tour, and they kindly warned us the tour would be conducted in French, but that the guide would translate for us as she went along. But the descriptions in French were noticeably longer than those given to us in English. We expected this, as you can't say everything twice. but if you are an English only speaker, it is good know.

We had originally planned to do the Cointreau tour, as we are consumers of that product. Unfortunately for us, the Cointreau tour (in nearby Angers) would not be open the day were to be there. Combier was a back up choice for us.

1  Thank PebbleBCritic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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