Rémy Martin Petite Champagne Cognac VS, 40% ABV, (France)
- double distilled in copper pot stills
- aged for a minimum of 2 years in French oak barrels
- My Rating: C+
- Why I like it: pleasantly sweet with hints of peach
- Where I got it: BC Liquor Stores
- How much: $60, 750ml
- Do I love this enough to drink it again: No, not rich enough
- Would I recommend this to cognac afficianados: No
Tasting Notes (straight, 15+ min airing): pours golden brown, barely thicker than water. Oak, vanilla, and Persian lime on the nose. 7/10 sweetntess, tastes of lime, peach, vanilla (all as advertised on their website) and caramel. Somewhat thin viscosity for my liking. Medium warmth, tingly light-medium alcohol burn in the nose, slight numbness on tongue.
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.”
- My Rating: C
- Why I might like it: N/A
- Who I recommend it to: N/A
- Where I got it: Firefly
- How much: <$5, Summer 2011
Tasting Notes: pours reddish brown, slightly cloudy, small head that dissipates, very little CO2 head retention, slippery lacing. A bit of cinnamon spice on the nose but not much. Burst of date/cherry/plum 5/10 sweetness up front, a bit of raisin, and then a mild bitter caramel finish. The body and end is quite thin and ends abruptly lacking a necessary follow-through. A bit of metallic aftertaste (steel). Medium complexity, short-med length, medium depth. One bottle is enough.
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+