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Pierre Ferrand Selection Des Anges

Review: Pierre Ferrand Selection Des Anges    (93/100)
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Published December 16, 2014

Pierre Ferrand uses only small (25-hectoliter) copper pot stills to produce their Cognac; and after distillation, the resulting distillate (eaux de vie) is matured in 270-liter French Limousin oak barrels. During this aging process, the cognac may rest in any of seven different aging cellars (each with traditional earthen floors). Within each of these cellars, the spirit is monitored, and may be transferred several times during its aging life to different cellars and/or to different oak casks (with differing char levels) to maintain the integrity and character of the spirit.

Pierre Ferrand Selection Des Anges is blended solely from aged eaux de vie produced within the 1st Cru de Cognac, specifically the Grande Champagne Cognac appellation of France. Although the final spirit has no age statement, according to the information provided to me, the Cognac is blended to achieve an average age of 30 years.

I was given a 200 ml bottle of the Pierre Ferrand Selection Des Anges by the good folks at River Valley Beverage Group who distribute the spirit here in Alberta. This bottle was part of a four bottle taster pack of XO Cognac which bring to the full range of Pierre Ferrand XO Grande Champagne Cognac to the consumer in a very attractive and affordable package.

Pierre Ferrand Selection des Anges (599x800)In the Bottle 5/5

As I was given one of the 200 ml bottles from the Pierre Ferrand tasting pack I had to rely on this bottle shot from the Pierre Ferrand website to show you the more regular 700 ml configuration. The bottle is very appealing with a heavy masculine bottle which would be perfectly at home serving as a centerpiece display for a connoisseur’s collection.

Cognac Ferrand could have gone to more trouble with a more decorative design; however, I feel that by understating the presentation, they are making the more obvious statement that they feel that what is inside the bottle will speak for itself.

In the Glass 9.5/10

When I poured a little of the Selection des Anges into my tulip shaped glass, I noticed the colour of the spirit was a rich copper. When I gave the glass a slow tilt and twirl, a thick(ish) film was left behind, and the crest of that film seemed to want to take its time before releasing any of its droopy droplets back into the bottom of the glass.

The immediate nose surprised me with an alluring smell of fresh green grapes accented with butterscotch and honey. I was expecting oak and leather to dominate the breezes, and it was a little exciting to be greeted with this much fresh fruit. As the glass breathes, the oak and leather smells do come forward, melding into the grape and honey while pouring out fine wood spices. As I continue to nose the glass, I began sense an impression of dark cacao chocolate separating itself from the oak, and of all things, a fresh-baked pecan pie was hinted at as well.

In the Mouth 55/60

I spent so much time nosing the glass, that the spirit was fully decanted when I took my first sip. This extra time had allowed the oak to develop fully in the glass and I was greeted with firm wood spices which oozed chocolate and baking spices (allspice & nutmeg) onto my palate. There is both fresh green grape as well as spicy raisin mingled into the pungent baking spices. I also taste bits of black licorice, hints of damp cigar tobacco, and a lovely cooling menthol. The melded combination of flavours is very appealing.

As you can see, the impressions upon my palate are rich and complex, and I am sure that if I explored further I could unravel a few more layers of delicious flavour within the spirit.

In the Throat 14/15

The finish leaves me with an impression of fresh fruit and raisins bathed in cooling mixture of menthol, licorice and camphor. Yumm!

The Afterburn 9.5/10

I tasted the Selection des Anges three separate times before I wrote this review. Each time I tasted it, I was forced to raise my scoring as my appreciation of the spirit grew and then grew again. My feeling is that the Selection des Anges is a special Cognac, one that perhaps deserves a place on my newly constructed Cognac Shelf!

You may click this link to read some of my other Brandy and Cognac Reviews.


My Final Score is out of 100 and you may (loosely) interpret the score as follows:

0-25     A spirit with a rating this low would actually kill you.
26-49   Depending upon your fortitude you might actually survive this.
50 -59  You are safe to drink this…but you shouldn’t.
60-69   Substandard swill which you may offer to people you do not want to see again.
70-74    Now we have a fair mixing spirit. Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79    You may begin to serve this to friends, again probably still cocktail territory.
80-84    We begin to enjoy this spirit neat or on the rocks. (I will still primarily mix cocktails)
85-89    Excellent for sipping or for mixing!
90-94    Definitely a primary sipping spirit, in fact you may want to hoard this for yourself.
95-97.5 The Cream of the Crop
98+       I haven’t met this bottle yet…but I want to.

Very loosely we may put my scores into terms that you may be familiar with on a Gold, Silver, and  Bronze medal  scale as follows:

70 – 79.5    Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
80 – 89.5     Silver Medal (Recommended for sipping and or a high quality mixer)
90 – 95         Gold Medal (Highly recommended for sipping and for sublime cocktails.)
95.5+            Platinum Award (Highest Recommendation)


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