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Posts Tagged ‘VSOP’

Review: Courvoisier VSOP Fine Champagne Cognac

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 17, 2018

We can trace the origins of Courvoisier Cognac to 1809 when Emmanuel Courvoisier began a small wine and spirits company with the Mayor of Bercy, Louis Gallois in the French suburb of Bercy (Paris, France). The company and its Cognac was soon to achieve fame as in 1811, Napoleon Bonaparte visited Bercy, and it is said that after visiting Bercy, Napoleon stated that he wanted to have available a ration of cognac for his artillery companies during the Napoleonic Wars. And in fact, later (in 1869) Napoleon’s heir, Napoleon III stated a preference for Courvoisier and bestowed the honourable title of “Official Supplier to the Imperial Court” to the company, and this title remains on display at the Courvoisier Museum in Jarnac.

To produce their VSOP Fine Champagne Cognac, Courvoisier utilizes eaux-de-vie from only two of the crus in the Cognac appellation,the Grande Champagne,and Petite Champagne crus which are generally recognized at the two premier regions within the overall Cognac appellation. The grape juice from which the cognac is distilled is produced solely from white grapes which have been grown within these two appellations. The spirit is distilled twice upon a copper Charentes Still, and the resulting eaux de vie is aged in barrels handmade from 200-year old oak sourced from the Tronçais Forest in France.

Here is a link to my full review of the Courvoisier VSOP Fine Champagne Cognac:

Review: Courvoisier VSOP Fine Champagne Cognac

“… The initial aroma is somewhat restrained, but soon opens to reveal fine wood spices and sandalwood in front of some nice aromas of caramel and butterscotch melded into aromas of sugared green grapes and canned peaches …”

As I indicated two days ago, Cognac is a great mixing spirit, and the Courvoissier VSOP is no exception. I used my sample bottle to experiment a little and came up with a sour recipe I quite enjoyed, the Cognac Lime Sour.

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Review: CAMUS VSOP Elegance

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 24, 2018

CAMUS is the last of the major Cognac Houses that is entirely family run, and the House has been that way for five generations. Cyril Camus who represents the fifth generation of the Camus family currently remains in sole control of the company which currently has employees on three separate continents responsible for sales of cognac in almost every country of the world.

The construction of the CAMUS VSOP Elegance begins with a selection of particular aromatic eaux-de-vie which are partially distilled on the lees. These include eaux-de-vie from the famous Borderies cru which are selected to strengthen the aromatic character of the VSOP Elegance as it ages. The aging barrels selected for this VSOP are medium toasted rather than lightly toasted which helps to maintain the original characteristic aromas of the eaux-de-vie.

Champs Élysées

The ages of the varies blended Cognac in the VSOP Elegance must be (by law) a minimum of four years of age, although to maintain a consistent flavour profile from year to year, it would not be unusual for some of the specific Cognac in the blend to be aged longer.

Here is a link to my review:

Review: CAMUS VSOP Elegance

“… The merry little breezes above the glass bring a very nicely fruited mixture of green grape and apricot brandy into the air which are both melded nicely into rising scents of fine oak spice and light butterscotch. There is a gentle floral sweetness in the breezes represented by indications of rose petals, garden lilies and lightly perfumed iris. As the glass sits I sense a light herbaceous quality within the air with impressions of menthol and lemongrass …”

Please enjoy my review which includes my cocktail recommendation, Champs Élysées.

Chimo!

Posted in Brandy and Cognac Reviews, Cognac Review | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Review: Gautier VSOP Fine Cognac

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 6, 2018

The making of cognac is governed by strict rules designed to guarantee consistency of quality and character. All cognac must be produced from a specific region of France whose appellation was first set out by decree on May 1, 1909. Since 1938, this appellation has been composed of six crus: Grande Champagne, Petite Champagne, Borderies, Fins Bois, Bon Bois, and Bois a Terroir. (You can think of these crus a specific grape growing regions within the overall appellation.) The grape juice from which the cognac is distilled is produced solely from white grapes which have been grown within the appellation.

In 1755 the Gautier family obtained a Royal Warrant and a founding charter from the King Louis XV for the purpose of making Cognac. It is probable that the family was active making brandy and cognac prior to 1755; however, the Royal Warrant and Founding Charter mark the official launch of the Maison Gautier.

(The Maison Gautier VSOP blend is produced from eaux de vie derived from grapes grown in the Petite Champagne, Fins Bois and Bons Bois “crus”.)

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Gautier VSOP Fine Cognac

“… The breezes above the glass carried a nice aroma which represents a melding of oak spice, raisin and caramel toffee. The spiciness of the oak is firm but not assertive which appeals to me as sometimes oak can dominate a spirit to the detriment of the other aromas and flavours …”

Please enjoy my review which includes two luscious cocktail suggestions, Champs Élysées, and the Sidecar, two classic Cognac/Brandy Cocktails.

Chimo!

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Cocktail Hour: The Hummingbird

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 12, 2016

It is quite common when mixing tiki drinks to mix two disparate rums with different flavour profiles in order to bring the best of both to the final cocktail. I like to do the same when making cocktails with brandy and cognac. Specifically, I like to mix a young vibrant spirit with a well aged brandy or XO Cognac in sour cocktails. A ribbon of strong overt oak spice (from the well aged spirit) seems to take these cocktails to a whole new level.

hummingbird-sam_2779That is the theme for the following cocktail. (My wife insisted that I call the serving, The Hummingbird, as it is named for the avian visitor which has been dropping by the hanging flowers by our back window this fall.)

Hummingbird

1 oz H by Hine Fine Champagne VSOP (click here for review)
1/2 oz Hine Antique XO Premier Cru
3/4 oz Orange Juice
3/8 oz Lemon Juice
3/8 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Sugar Syrup
dash Angostura Bitters
Ice
Twist of Orange Peel

Add the first seven ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
Garnish with a Twist of Orange Peel

Please Enjoy Responsibly!

If  you are interested in more of my original cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!

Note: My Review for Hine Antique XO Premier Cru Cognac will publish tomorrow, Chimo!

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The 12 Cognacs of Christmas #11 – Hennessy Privilege V.S.O.P.

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 4, 2014

Medusa Coil SAM_1382

The Medusa Coil Cocktail

Jas Hennessy & Co., is the largest Cognac producer in the world today with sales that exceed 45 million bottles per year. The company was founded in 1765 by Richard Hennessy who was an Irish Officer in the army of Louis XV.  Fifty two years later, in 1817, Hennessy Cognac was so highly regarded that the Prince of Wales, (who later would become King George IV of Great Britain) asked the Hennessy House to produce what was termed a “very superior old pale cognac“. This was apparently the genesis for the initials V.S.O.P (Very Superior Old Pale), and these initials have become a labeling standard used throughout the industry to this day.

The subject of this review is Hennessy’s Privilege VSOP Cognac. The spirit is produced from the fruity Ugni Blanc grapes which have been harvested from the four great crus of the Cognac region (Grande Champagne, Petite Champagne, Borderies and Fins Bois). The grape wine produced is (of course) double distilled upon the Hennessy Distillery’s great copper pot stills and then selected eaux-de-vie is set down to age for at least 4 years in french oak casks which have constructed from old growth oak timbers.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Hennessy’s Privilege VSOP Cognac

“… The initial aroma displays a rich combination of oak spice and vanilla with leathery cedar accents. To some extent the oak dominates covering over the fruity scents of green grape and raisin. After a few minutes the breezes above the glass show me impressions of rich tobacco, dark baking spices, (vanilla, brown sugar, nutmeg, allspice and cinnamon), sticky marmalade, apricot brandy and hints of maple …”

When I was contemplating a cocktail for the Hennessy Privilege VSOP, I wanted to put a modern spin on a traditional (or maybe the right word is ‘classic’) cocktail. I began with Leo Engels 1878 Brandy Crusta, and with a few additions and subtractions, I arrived at what I call the Medusa Coil.

Enjoy my review, and stay tuned for more of the 12 Cognacs of Christmas!

 

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