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Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!
   
   
 

December 1, 2019


Whiskyfun

Cognacs randomly
(not obligatorily a good idea)

Let’s see what we have…

Pierre Ferrand ‘Renegade Barrel No.2’ (47.1%, OB, eau-de-vie de vin, +/-2019)

Pierre Ferrand ‘Renegade Barrel No.2’ (47.1%, OB, eau-de-vie de vin, +/-2019) Two stars
Most online retailers advertise this as being a Cognac, but it is not since they’ve done a finishing in chestnut on it. By law and like with Scotch, Cognac = oak. Now it’s to be remembered that chestnut was not uncommon in the wine world, but that was mainly because chestnut barrels used to be… cheaper. Oh and this is NAS. Colour: gold. Nose: not quite Cognac indeed, despite some rather lovely notes of stewed peaches and melons, rather a spirit that would sit between Scotch and Cognac. Some sultanas, vanilla, also balsa wood, perhaps? Cedar? Feels young. Greengages. Mouth: pretty good, a tad sweet, raisiny, with typical stewed melons, grapes, apricots, also honey and a little caramel. Feels a little too sweet for me, in fact. Finish: long, really too sweet now, this is a little cloying. A shame, because the juice was probably pretty good in the first place. Why torture some fine Cognac? Comments: feels a little unnecessary, but I can’t think of any spirit that’s properly ‘necessary’. Except that one that cures snake bites, according to W.C. Fields. So, what’s next?
SGP:631 - 76 points.

Tesseron ‘Composition’ (40%, B, Cognac, Fine Champagne, +/-2018)

Tesseron ‘Composition’ (40%, B, Cognac, Fine Champagne, +/-2018) Two stars
A youngish blend of Grande and Petite Champagne (a.k.a. Fine Champagne), packaged like if it was whisky. Aye, why not! Loved Tesseron’s Lot 90 earlier this year (WF 89). Colour: deep gold. Nose: not extremely expressive, and that’s an understatement. Buttercream? Fresh American oak? Popcorn? Watermelon? Vanilla? That’s the problem with these 40% vol., that’s really getting too low, especially, listen to this please, since no one’s using those large ‘fishbowl’ style Cognac glasses anymore, you know the ones that used to amplify just any nose. Mouth: better, brighter, with good honey and peach sauce, sultanas, jams, touches of wild strawberries as well as strawberry yoghurt, but it would then start to nosedive, getting weaker and a little tea-ish, which is another word for drying.  Finish: fine but short and a little liqueury. Peach and melon liqueur, with a little tea from the oak. Comments: no, not my business but they could have done this much better. A rather wibbly-wobbly offering, pretty disappointing given the Tesseron name and their reputation. Bad malternative.
SGP:520 - 70 points.

A bad start, that happens… But…

Vallein-Tercinier 32 yo Lot 86 ‘Bons Bois’ (44.5%, Maltbarn, 158 bottles)

Vallein-Tercinier 32 yo Lot 86 ‘Bons Bois’ (44.5%, Maltbarn, 158 bottles) Five stars
Why and how this would be a miss, I don’t know. After all, this one has got a number of excellent advantages, the name Maltbarn, the name Vallein-Tercinier, and last but not least, the vintage that was the year when the band ‘Europe’ released their wonderful single, ‘The Final Countdown’ (which opened a whole new market for hearing aids). Joking. Colour: gold. Nose: typical house-style, ridden with preserved and fresh fruits, from papayas to melons and from pink bananas to peaches. This style is extremely appealing to malt enthusiast, because we’re oh-so close to some 1966-1972 vintage malts such as Lochside, Clynelish, Caperdonich, Glen Grant, Glengoyne, Glenugie… Well, you see. Mouth: ah, this one’s a notch more herbal than other expressions, which is lovable. Between fresh liquorice and melon skins, I would say. Other than that, we’ve got all our friends, figs, cocoa, dates, mangos, raisins, chestnut honey, cinnamon… It’s also a tad more drying than some siblings, or is that me? Finish: rather long, rather more on chocolate. Comments: no-quibble Cognac. Reminds me of that new chocolate that Lindt & Sprüngli have just released, which is milk chocolate with 65% cocoa inside. It’s called Lindt Excellence, and of course they pay me. Not, but love it almost as much as I love this Cognac.
SGP:641 - 90 points.

Let’s keep our game high, if you don’t mind…

Borderies N°65 (55.8%, Cognac Grosperrin, +/-2019)

Borderies N°65 (55.8%, Cognac Grosperrin, +/-2019) Four stars
Which equates to the 1965 vintage, in unofficial Cognac talk. Borderies is a smallish cru that’s supposed to age a little faster than Grande or Petite Champagne, but to tell you the truth, I’m totally unable to confirm that. Colour: deep amber. Nose: I find it relatively earthy at first nosing, and a tad spirity as well, but that may well come from the pretty high strength (by Cognac standards). Notes of caramel and molasses, perhaps. I suppose we’ll have to wake it up… With water: menthol and camphor win it, it’s almost as we had opened a new pack of thin mints. The usual stewed peaches are there too. Mouth (neat): extremely punchy, almost aggressive, acerbic, pungent, with big sharp citrus and some gritty caramel. Water please! With water: it would remain a little harsh, almost young, rustic, on the other hand I really enjoy how lively it remained. Bags of oranges, perhaps a little horseradish, pepper, grittier teas… Finish: long, with a certain tannicity, some dry spices, and a few old walnuts. Comments: just the opposite of a silky old Cognac, this one’s a pretty dry, tireless fighter.
SGP:361 - 86 points.

Grande Champagne N°34 (45.1%, Grosperrin, +/-2019)

Grande Champagne N°34 (45.1%, Cognac Grosperrin, +/-2019) Four stars and a half
That’ right, 1934, great vintage in Bordeaux and elsewhere, so I suppose that’s the same with Cognac. Colour: deep amber. Nose: always like it when it starts with coffee and hints of burnt molasses, while in this very case, stewed and preserved fruits would really start to abound after just five minutes, offering a rather huge complexity. Apricots covered with caramel, peaches poached in sweet wine (PX), some perfect artisan milk chocolate, black nougat, notes of Turkish delights, mocha, liquorice… It really is a wonderful nose, with no signs of tiredness whatsoever after eighty-five years. Reminds me of some old jazzmen in that respect. Mouth: just a touch of tannic oak in the beginning of the arrival, but the fruits instantly take over in a beautiful manner. Various oranges, the usual peaches, some liquorice, a good few aromatic flowers (haven’t we mentioned wormwood before?) plus some pink grapefruit that prevents the oak from fighting back. More and more bitter chocolate, cracked pepper, tobacco (like Gauloise), dry molasses… But then again, the fresh fruits would never give up. It’s almost Federer vs. Nadal on our palates. Funny touches of cumin and cloves emerging after a good five minutes. Finish: long, surprisingly tense and citrusy, almost acidic. The same cloves and cumin remain in the aftertaste. Comments: not very fruit but absolutely fantastic, if still a little rough and tannic at times. These old Cognacs will never, ever die – contrarily to most malt whiskies, who would probably be flat dead, or at least pure oak juice at this ripe old age. Incredible work by Grosperrin, sourcing these old glories throughout the countryside (while avoiding the gunshots, ha-ha).
SGP:461 - 88 points.

More tasting notesCheck the index of all brandies we've tasted so far

 

WF Favourites
Whiskyfun fav of the month

November 2019

Serge's favourite recent bottling this month:
Jura 1989/2019 (53.5%, OB, Rare Vintage, bourbon, 1,500 bottles) - WF91

Serge's favourite older bottling this month:
Bladnoch 32 yo 1958/1990 (44.5%, Duthies)- WF93

Serge's favourite bang for your buck this month:
Balblair 8 yo 2011/2019 (57.8%, Cadenhead, Small Batch, 648 bottles) - WF89

Serge's favourite malternative this month:
Worthy Park 2017/2019 (67%, OB, for La Maison du Whisky, Jamaica, single cask)  - WF91

Serge's Lemon Prize this month:
Suntory Brandy ‘V.O.’ (37%, OB, Japanese brandy, +/-2019?)  - WF18

 

 

 
   

 

 

 

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