Kerner 2010 (White) – Gray Monk, 11.7% ABV, (BC VQA Okanagan, BC)
Speciale Noel – Brasserie Artisanale La Binchoise (since 1836), 9% ABV, (Faubourg, Saint Paul, Belgium). First brewed in 1993, serving temp, 10C. Bottle condition, unpasteurized, and unfiltered.
Penticton Harvest Honey Pale Ale – The Tin Whistle Brewing Company, 5% ABV, (Penticton, BC)
On the back label:
“Cascade hopes were harvested in the middle of the night and rushed to the brewery where under a full moon and the smiling countenance of the beer gods a little brewing magic took place. The incredibly fresh hops provide an intense citrus aroma and flavour. The addition of wildflower honey brings even more flavour and bright crisp finish. Only able to be made once a year with the hop harvest, get it while you can. Don’t miss out! -Jeff Todd, Brewmaster”
X.O. Beer, 5.5% ABV, France
-Biere aromatisee au Cognac X.O. (Beer: 97%, Cognac: 2% @40%ABV
On the back label:
“Created from a harmonious blend with beer and Cognac, X.O. BEER reveals a variety of genuine and elegant sensations. Under certain conditions, this beer may present a natural cloudiness, which is harmless and does not affect its quality.”
Cognac de Collection Jean Grosperrin (1980), 51.5% ABV, 70cl (Chermignac, France)
“Grande Champagne 1980 (available in February 2005)
We acquired this cognac in December 2004. This cognac comes from a Parisian widow whose husband – a highly successful magistrate – had invested in cognac for tax reasons. When he died, she discovered she was now the owner of dozens of barrels of cognac, some of which had been stored in government-controlled (ORECO) cellars for over thirty years. We bought all of them: Grande Champagne 1980, 1971, and 1970
Today this cognac is in ours (sic) cellars, and each barrel was sealed by a bailiff. We are actually reducing it with demineralised water. We will propose it at 51%. It is a beautiful cognac, which is a both light and fruity. It is very well balanced.”
How Jean Grosperrin obtains his cognacs for his company, La Gabare:
- old small cognac producing families often store away barrels of cognac to “pass along” to future generations. Another source is from state-controlled cognac warehouses, but mainly for younger cognacs (distilled after 1975)
- Jean Grosperrin (now his son Guilhem) acts as a broker and purchases the barrels – check official distillation date, taste, and carbon date.
- dilute if necessary, but avoided if possible; keeping the flavourful oils
- Motto is barrel to bottle, unblended.
- every bottle is corked & sealed in the presence of a bailiff
- cete bouteille porte le NO: 000424, limite a 431 litres, verification le 25 Novembre 2005
- packaged in textured corrugated cardboard, heavy based glass bottle
- Where I got it: Chateau Louis
- How much: $171 (after 5%), $11 per shot
- Drinkability: Medium-Hard
Tasting Notes (Nov 17/2011)
The first cognac review and it’s a hard one to get into. 51.5% is nothing to scoff at; I can only do a mini-sip every few minutes. It pours a lighter colour than sherry-casked scotch, very “oily”, and very alcohol forward on the nose. You get mainly apricot and massive BURN on the nose. Lots of sweetness up front, and then apricot, cinnamon spice, vanilla and then an dry spicy fruit finish. Lots of tingling on the tongue, numbing on the sides of the cheeks and only minimal warmth down the throat. After about 10 sips, my mouth feels rough.
Rating as something I would often drink: D+ (messes up my mouth – 51.5% ABV!!!)
Rating as an exciting cognac: C+